Thales

Philosopher, Politician

2024 – 2024

69

Who was Thales?

Thales of Miletus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Miletus in Asia Minor, and one of the Seven Sages of Greece. Many, most notably Aristotle, regard him as the first philosopher in the Greek tradition. According to Bertrand Russell, "Western philosophy begins with Thales." Thales attempted to explain natural phenomena without reference to mythology and was tremendously influential in this respect. Almost all of the other Pre-Socratic philosophers follow him in attempting to provide an explanation of ultimate substance, change, and the existence of the world without reference to mythology. Those philosophers were also influential, and eventually Thales' rejection of mythological explanations became an essential idea for the scientific revolution. He was also the first to define general principles and set forth hypotheses, and as a result has been dubbed the "Father of Science", though it is argued that Democritus is actually more deserving of this title.

In mathematics, Thales used geometry to solve problems such as calculating the height of pyramids and the distance of ships from the shore. He is credited with the first use of deductive reasoning applied to geometry, by deriving four corollaries to Thales' Theorem. As a result, he has been hailed as the first true mathematician and is the first known individual to whom a mathematical discovery has been attributed.

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Born
May 26, 2024
Miletus
Also known as
  • Thales of Miletus
Parents
Nationality
  • Ancient Greece
Profession
Died
May 26, 2024

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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"Thales." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 26 May 2024. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/thales>.

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