From Aristotle we learn (I) that Thales found in water the origin of things; (2) that he conceived the earth to float upon a sea of the elemental fluid; (3) that he supposed all things to be full of gods; (4) that in virtue of the attraction exercised by the magnet he attributed to it a soul.
Aristotle's suggestion that Thales was led to his fundamental dogma by observation of the part which moisture plays in the production and the maintenance of life, and Simplicius's, that the impressibility and the binding power of water were perhaps also in his thoughts, are by admission purely conjectural..
Simplicius's further suggestion that Thales conceived the element to be modified by thinning and thickening is plainly inconsistent with the statement of Theophrastus that the hypothesis in question was peculiar to Anaximenes.
The assertion preserved by Stobaeus that Thales recognized, together with the material element " water," " mind," which penetrates it and sets it in motion, is refuted by the precise testimony of Aristotle, who declares that the early physicists did not distinguish the moving cause from the material cause, and that before Hermotimus and Anaxagoras no one postulated a creative intelligence.
It would seem, then, that Thales sought amid the variety of things a single material cause; that he found such a cause in.
The doctrine of Thales was interpreted and developed in the course of three succeeding generations.
A new departure was taken by the Eleatic Parmenides (q.v.), who, expressly noting that, when Thales and his successors attributed to the supposed element changing qualities, they became pluralists, required that the superficial variety of nature should be strictly distinguished from its fundamental unity.
Hence, whereas Thales and his successors had confounded the One, the element, and the Many, its modifications, the One and the Not-One or Many became with Parmenides matters for separate investigation.
Thus, meagre and futile as the doctrine of Thales was, all the Greek schools, with the solitary exception of that of Pythagoras, took their origin from it.
Not in name only, but also in fact, Thales, the first of the Ionian physicists, was the founder of the philosophy of Greece.
Allman, " Greek Geometry from Thales to Euclid," Hermathena, No.
Cantor, Vorlesungen fiber Geschichte der Mathematik (Leipzig, t880); P. Tannery, " Thales de Milet ce qu'il a emprunte a l'Egypte," Revue Philosophique, March 1880; " La Tradition touchant Pythagore, Oenopide, et Thales," Bul.
C. i is on the earliest dwellings of man; C. 2 on systems of Thales, Heraclitus, Democritus, &c.; c. 3 on bricks; c. 4 on sand; c. 5 on lime; c. 6 on pozzolana; c. 7 on kinds of stone for building; c. 8 on methods of constructing walls in stone, brick, concrete and marble, and on the materials for stucco; c. 9 on timber, time for felling it, seasoning, &c.; and c. to on the fir trees of the Apennines.
This sort of thought, which appears very early in Egypt (2000 B.C. or earlier), and relatively early among the Greeks (in the sayings of Thales and Solon as reported by Diogenes Laertius), was of late growth among the Hebrews.
The earlier Ionian physicists, Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes, in their attempts to trace the Multiplicity of things to a single material element, had been troubled by no misgivings about the possibility of knowledge.
In seeking for a single material principle underlying the multiplicity of phenomena, the first nature-philosophers, Thales and the rest, did indeed raise the problem of the one and the many, the endeavour to answer which must at last lead to logic. But it is only from a point of view won by later speculation that it can be said that they sought to determine the predicates of the single subject-reality, or to establish the permanent subject of varied and varying predicates.'
Later writers from whom we derive our knowledge of Thales attributed to him ideas which seem to have been conceived by subsequent thinkers.
5) Aristotle quotes the statement that Thales attributed to water a divine intelligence, and criticizes it as an inference from later speculations.
It is probably safest to credit Thales with the bare mechanical conception of a universal material cause, leaving pantheistic ideas to a later period of thought.
The successors of Thales were Anaximander and Anaximenes, who also sought for a primal substance of things.
Unlike Thales, he was struck by the infinite variety in things; he felt that all differences are finite, that they have emerged from primal unity (first called epxn by him) into which they must ultimately return, that the Infinite One has been, is, and always will be, the same, indeterminate but immutable.
This theory is closely allied to that of Thales, but it is superior in that it specifies the processes of change.
We have seen that Thales recognized change, but attempted no explanation; that Anaximander spoke of change in two directions; that Anaximenes called these two directions by specific names.
Each succeeding thinker had more or less assumed the methods of Thales, and had approached the problem of existence from the empirical side.
So, with his own hands he carried the golden tripod to the little house where Thales lived.
Thales of earth Miletus is claimed as the first exponent of the idea of a Flat Homer.
Allman, Greek Geometry from Thales to Euclid (1889); Florian Cajori, History of Mathematics (New York, 1894); M.
One of the most distinguished among them was Thales of Miletus (6 4 o -543 B.C.), the founder of the Ionian school of philosophy, whose pupil, Anaximander (611-546 B.C.) is credited by Eratosthenes with having designed the first map of the world.
This period lasted' from the time of Thales, c. 600 B.C., to the capture of Alexandria by the Mahommedans, A.D.
It is probable that the algebra of the Egyptians was of a most rudimentary nature, for otherwise we should expect to find traces of it in the works of the Greek geometers, of whom Thales of Miletus (640-546 B.C.) was the first.
This conception recurs in the theory of Thales, who made water the first principle of all things.
Some of the greatest authors were not even writers: Homer, Aesop, Thales, Socrates.
Two Lunar Years Would Thus Contain 25 Months, Or 738 Days, While Two Solar Years, Of 3654 Days Each, Contain 7302 Days.V The `, Difference Of 72 Days Was Still Too Great To Escape Observation; It Was Accordingly Proposed By Cleostratus Of Tenedos, Who Flourished Shortly After The Time Of Thales, To Omit The Biennary Intercalation Every Eighth Year.
THALES OF MILETUS (6 40-546 B.C.), Greek physical philosopher, son of Examyus and Cleobuline, is universally recog nized as the founder of Greek geometry, astronomy and philosophy.
The nationality of Thales is certainly Greek and not Phoenician.
It is well known that this name (rocos) was given on account of practical ability; and in accordance with this we find that Thales had been occupied with civil affairs, and indeed several instances of his political sagacity have been handed down.
It is probable, however, that in the case of Thales the appellation " wise man," which was given to him and to the other six in the archonship of Damasius (586 B.C.), 1 was conferred on him not only on account of his political sagacity, but also for his scientific eminence (Plut.
The second part of the statement of Herodotus - the reality of the prediction by Thales - has been frequently called in question, chiefly on the ground that, in order to predict a solar eclipse with any chance of success, one should have the command of certain astronomical facts which were not known until the 3rd century, B.C., and then merely approximately, and only employed with that object in the following century by Hipparchus.
The question, however, is not whether Thales could predict the eclipse of the sun with any chance of success - much less whether he could state beforehand at what places the eclipse would be visible, as some have erroneously supposed, and which of course would have been quite impossible for him to do, but simply whether he 1 Bretschneider (Die Geom.
In this he is followed by some other recent writers, who infer thence that the name " wise " was conferred on Thales on account of the success of his prediction.
On the Eclipses of Agathocles, Thales, and Xerxes," Phil.
The wonderful fame of Thales amongst the ancients must have been in great part due to this achievement, which seems, moreover, to have been one of the chief causes that excited amongst the Hellenes the love of science which ever afterwards characterized them.
Of the fact that Thales visited Egypt, and there became acquainted with geometry, there is abundant evidence.
6 But the characteristic feature of the work of Thales was that to the knowledge thus acquired he added the capital creation of the geometry of lines, which was essentially abstract in its character.
Thales, on the.
The following discoveries in geometry are attributed to Thales (I) the circle is bisected by its diameter (Procl.
26 is referred to Thales by Eudemus (Procl.
Proclus, too, in his summary of the history of geometry before Euclid, which he probably derived from Eudemus of Rhodes, says that Thales, having visited Egypt, first brought the knowledge of geometry into Greece, Assyrian Discoveries, p. 409.
Pamphila and the spurious letter from Thales to Pherecydes, ap. Diog.
From these indications it is no doubt difficult to determine what Thales brought from Egypt and what was due to his own invention.
To the former belong the theorems (t), (2), and (3), and to the latter especially the theorem (4), and also, probably, his solution of the two practical problems. We infer, then, [t] that Thales must have known the theorem that the sum of the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles.
Halleius, p. 9), and it is plain that the geometers older than the Pythagoreans can be no other than Thales and his school.
 Thales discovered the theorem that the sides of equiangular triangles are proportional.
The knowledge of this theorem is distinctly attributed to Thales by Plutarch, and it was probably made use of also in his determination of the distance of a ship at sea.
In a philosophic point of view: we see that in these two theorems of Thales the first type of a natural law, i.e.
Lastly, in a practical point of view: Thales furnished the first example of an application of theoretical geometry to practice,' and laid the foundation of an important branch of the same - the measurement of heights and distances.
As to the astronomical knowledge of Thales we have the following notices: - (1) besides the prediction of the solar eclipse, Eudemus attributes to him the discovery that the circuit of the sun between the solstices is not always uniform; 6 (2) he called the last day of the month the thirtieth (Diog.
Other discoveries in astronomy are attributed to Thales, but on authorities which are not trustworthy.
18, who attributes to Thales, then old, the discovery: " quotiens sol magnitudine sua circulum quem permeat metiatur."
- Whilst in virtue of his political sagacity and intellectual eminence Thales held a place in the traditional list of the wise men, on the strength of the disinterested love of knowledge which appeared in his physical speculations he was accounted a " philosopher " (g5tX6v000s).