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Sorin Sabou

Letter to the Romans, Nicomachean Ethics, and more

The Milesian School

The positions of the philosophers from the Milesian school can be misinterpreted; here they are as they survived to us: 'the chief substance is water' (Thales), 'the Non-Limited is the original material of existing things' and its 'essential nature is everlasting and ageless' (Anaximander), and 'air is near to the incorporeal; and since we come into being by an efflux from this air, it is bound to be both non-limited and rich so that it never fails' (Anaximenes). (Freeman, 1948).
These positions are blunt and unpolished, but they have to be seen as 'hypotheses' (Russell 2009) that make you think and look again at the subject matter. The addressed problems are those of origin of all things, of they way they stand together and how they will be. The Milesian school introduced a 'non mythological way of looking at the world' (Moore & Bruder, 2011). The complexity of the surrounding world is to be explained making reference to a simple element/reality.
We can disagree with their conclusions but I would say that their contribution is more in the way they pointed us to do things: observe natural forces and processes and be ready to test your hypotheses.

Freeman, Kathleen. Ancilla to the Pre-Socratic Philosophers. 1948.
Moore, Brooke Noel. and Bruder, Kenneth. Philosophy, The Power of Ideas. 8th ed. New York, McGraw Hill, 2011.
Russell, B. History of Western Philosophy. London and New York, Routlege. 2009.
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