February 26, 2018
Integrated Research Paper
Who are we? Why are we here? How can we explain this place we live in and all the things surrounding us? Before philosophy, ancient civilizations relied on myths and religious texts to explain everything Earth consisted of. Archaic Greece (c. 620 BC – 480 BC) was not only the foundation for reestablishing a demolished country after the Dark Ages, but it was the backbone of developing a period to follow that was known as the most influential era in Greek history, the Classical period (500 BC -323 BC). In the Archaic Period there were vast changes in Greek language, society, art, architecture, and politics. These changes occurred due to the increasing population of Greece and its increasing amount trade, which in turn led to colonization and a new age of intellectual ideas, the most important of which was Democracy. This would then fuel more cultural changes and new ideas of the study of philosophy. Archaic philosophers, called pre-Socratics, were considered scientists that studied nature, asked questions, and overall had a love of wisdom. Pre-Socratic philosophers attempted questions and found a new style of linguistics during the Archaic period that would influence the Classical Greek disciplines such as philosophy, art, and architecture to be the greatest period of ancient Greece.
Many believed that ancient Greeks created the notions of philosophy. The Archaic period of Greece saw the beginnings of Greek philosophy and the first of the many intellectual giants who would make Greece famous for its philosophers. The philosophers of the Archaic period are known as the pre-Socratic philosophers, that is, the philosophers before Socrates, who would later revolutionize philosophy. They were referred to as pre-Socratics because before Socrates nobody included an anthropocentric character in their theories, Socrates was the first. These philosophers were mostly interested in explaining the development and structure of the physical universe, and thus were very much like early scientists. Thales of Miletus (624–654 BC) is considered the first major Greek philosopher. He sought to understand the existence of the world and the workings of nature without recourse to mythology. Thales believed that water was the basis of all things. He was succeeded by other philosophers from Miletus, which gave rise to what became known as the Milesian School, which was interested in how nature worked. Another member of the school was Anaximenes (585–525 BC), who held that air was the basis of all things. Thales, Anaximenes, and Anaximander were from the Milesian school and considered the fathers of the school. Another school, the Ephesian School, is represented by Heraclitus (535–475 BC), who held that fire was the nature of all things, and that change was fundamental and continual. Pythagoras of Samos (582–496 BC) created his own school of philosophy, centered on...