Huwebes, Agosto 30, 2012

The Philosopher


Thales of Miletus was a prominent and popular Greek philosopher of pre- Socratic times. He belonged to Miletus in Asia Minor and was among the Seven Sages of Greece. Furthermore, Aristotle considered him as the very first philosopher in the tradition of Greek. With his works, Thales tried to describe and explain the natural phenomena, without taking help of mythology and was extremely influential in this regard. Most of the other pre-Socratic philosophers also followed the foot-steps of Thales and got engaged in explaining an ultimate substance, change, and the existence of the world without referring to mythology. Subsequently, the denial of mythological explanation by Thales brought a necessary idea for the revolution of science. Thales also became the first person to describe general principles and put forward hypotheses. For the same he had been considered as the "Father of Science". In order to solve mathematics problems, Thales took the help of geometry like calculating the pyramid's height and distance between shore and ship. Thales is also recognized with the first usage of deductive reasoning application to geometry. For the same, he derived four corollaries to Thales' Theorem. He is greatly addressed as the first true mathematician. Thales was also the first person to study electricity.


According to numerous stories, Thales was not just a mere thinker, but was also engaged in business and politics. A story suggests that he purchased all the olive presses in Miletus, when he forecasted the weather and an excellent harvest for that specific year. Another story recites that he purchased options to use the presses not to gain money but to solely show his peer Milesians that he could very easily elevate his status using his intelligence. This particular incident is also cited as the first ever example of options trading.


The political life of Thales was chiefly connected with the involvement of the Ionians in the defense of Anatolia, opposing the increasing power of the Persians. At that time Persians were new in the town. A king of the neighboring Lydia, Croesus had obtained many states of coastal Anatolia, which included the cities of Ionians too. This marked the beginning of

Description: Picture of Thales

the war between Lydians and Medes which continued for five years but when the war was in its sixth year, a sun eclipse immediately interrupted the battle going on. Most likely Thales had forecasted this solar eclipse. It seems that the Seven Sages existed then, as Croesus was immensely impressed by Solon of Athens who was another sage. The actual presence of Thales in the war is uncertain but on the basis of the same, both Lydians and Medes instantly declared peace, taking a blood oath.


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