History of Philosophy

Philosophers

Thales

620 BC - 546 BC

Pre-Socratic, Milesian. Rejected supernatural explanations, aimed to find naturalistic answers using reason and argument. All things made of water. Brought geometry from Egypt to Greece.

Anaximander

610 BC - 546 BC

Pre-Socratic, Milesian. Student of Thales. All things made of a neutral primal substance (apeiron), which is infinite, eternal and ageless. Rejected Thales on the grounds that water - if primal - would conquer everything.

Anaximenes

585 BC - 528 BC

Pre-Socratic, Milesian. Student of Anaximander. Fundamental substance is air. When compacted, air becomes water, then earth, then stone. Rarified air yields fire. The soul is made of air.

Xenophanes

570 BC - 475 BC

Pythagoras

570 Bc - 495 BC

Heraclitus

535 BC - 475 BC

Parmenides

510 BCE - 450 BCE

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Anaxagoras

500 BCE - 428 BCE

Pre-Socratic, Ionian. Sun and stars are fiery stones - he got sentenced to death for this, but escaped. Correct theory of eclipses. Four elements, everything is infinitely divisible. Mind (nous) is the substance that distinguishes living things from dead matter. Probably atheist.

Protagoras

490 BC - 420 BC

Empedocles

490 BC - 430 BC

Socrates

469 BC - 399 BC

Democritus

460 BC - 370 BC

Greek atomist, student of Leucippus (5th century BCE). Everything is composed of atoms - indestructible, always in motion (within the void), infinite in kind and number. The soul is made of atoms and dies with the body, thoughts are due to physical processes. No purpose, but cheerfulness is the goal of life.

Plato

429 BCE - 347 BCE

Diogenes

412 BC - 323 BC

Aristotle

384 BCE - 322 BCE

Descartes

1596 CE - 1650 CE

Locke

1632 - 1704

Berkeley

1685 - 1753

Hume

1711 - 1776

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Key events

Invention of Farming

10,000 BCE - 9,500 BCE

Civilisation begins

3500 BCE - 3300 BCE

First cities (2,000 inhabitants for large cities). Writing developed in various places: cuniform, hieroglyphs etc

Isaac Newton: "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy"

1687