Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes as Pathfinders of Modern Science
International Journal of Philosophy
Volume 1, Issue 4, December 2013, Pages: 57-65
Received: Nov. 27, 2013; Published: Jan. 30, 2014
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Author
Gabriel Ema Idang, Department of Philosophy, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
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Abstract
Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes, the first three earliest Ionian philosophers, flourished during the 6th century B.C. and became active in Miletus which was an Ionian colony in Asia Minor. These philosophers are traditionally regarded as the first Greek philosophers on record. They attempted to explain the origin and structure of the world in a rational manner. Thus, they were concerned with cosmology, that is, the scientific (empirical) investigation of the world and its development. It is obvious that philosophy amongst them began as an act of independent thought; and they must have recognised that anything magical, religious or mythical differs from a natural, rational or scientific explanation. Available records show that in their philosophical speculations, they took into account only what falls under sense perception. This explains why they are known as natural philosophers who engaged themselves with the study of nature. They also inquired into what single material element constitutes the substratum (ultimate stuff) of the world. It is on the basis of the attempts to provide a complete, simple, unified explanation of the various phenomena of the world that the outline of the methods and concepts of modern empirical science were first drawn. The aim of this paper is to examine the contributions of these philosophers (Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes) in order to justify them as exhibiting not only the temperament of science but also as constituting the foundation of modern science.
Keywords
Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Cosmology, Water, Apeiron, Air, Element, Infinite, Invention, Experiment, Pathfinders, Science
To cite this article
Gabriel Ema Idang, Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes as Pathfinders of Modern Science, International Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 1, No. 4, 2013, pp. 57-65. doi: 10.11648/j.ijp.20130104.12
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