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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Thales of Miletus (624BCE - 546BCE) What is the world made of? It was widely accepted that the world was made of 4 basic elements at the time. Wind Fire Water Earth Where did Thales come from? Everything is made of water! Connections to Science and Philosophy Today Capable of change Essential to life Something fromwhich everythingcan be formed Everything must be made of water Thales was born in Miletus in Greece, Ionia. Thales was interested in almost every subject at the time, investigating almost all areas of knowledge, philosophy, history, sciencemathematics, engineering, geography, and politics. Aristotle, the major source for Thales philosophy and science, identified Thales as the first person to investigate the basicprinciples of the originating substances of the universe. He founded the Milesian school of natural philosophy, developed the scientific method and initiated western enlightenment. Capable of motion What is the basicElement all thingsare made of? Thales became the first philosopher in western society most famously knowfor challenging this notion and comingup with his own explanation. Thales 3 basic beliefs about the world 3.The soul produces motion 1.The earth floated on water 2.All things are full of gods Thales theory of water gave way to the unending search for answers in science. His mathematical concepts and theorems are still recognizedtoday. For example, the simple diameter cuts a circle in half was a geometric notion initiated by Thales. . . . Unlike Greek mythology thales believed that water was a natural phenomenon not a personified god or goddess. In the biologicalworld he observed firstly that all life depends on water. Animals andplants need water to survive. Observing that life springs from waterin the biological sphere, he believed the same might hold true for theentire universe. This demonstrates his use of reductionism, to takean object and show it can be reduced to a more simple thing. Doingthis deduced that all landmasses were laying on a bed of water. He claimed that all things are full of gods and connectingto his theory of the entire universe being made of water, he believed this was divine water. He says that all objects eveninanimate ones possess souls. Or at least are alive in somesense perhaps because of their connection to water. This animistic approach highlighted his belief in a soul and ahigher power. Thales claimed that the soul produced motion whichdraws connections between being alive or having a soul with some sort of power. The property of being alivecomes from having a share of divinity. A share which comesfrom all objects being made of water. Discussion questions By Rhea Jacob,and Christopher Holiday 2. Is the substance of all things tangible also the substance of all things intangible? Are thoughts, emotions and other abstract concepts we are "conscious" of made of the same substance we can touch or feel? 1. How does reductionisim apply to other problems andother theories in philosophy and science?
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