Thales of Milete 620 -?580 B.C.
Imagine yourself to be in the world of the old greek....no technology.....no radio ot tv...only nature and man made constructions, buidlings, simple tools...things like that...
Two men are standing inthe filed looking at a big old tree.......
The first man doesnt dare to apprach the tree. He knows it is an evil spirit. If he gets near the tree he is afraid the branches will grab him.
He hears the rustling of the leaves and he knows the tree is whispering at him.....maybe even spells...he shivers.
The second man looks at the tree and is wondering what a tree really is. It is wood and leaves. That tree wasnt there all the time. It grew from a seed. The seed came from another tree, which came from......
Where is the beginning of being, he wonders.
Two different lines of thinking more than two thousand years ago. It is the first time in human history we have recollections of that moment. Then it started.
All of a sudden the world wasnt understood by taking refuge to blaming or praising all kinds of antropomorhic gods.
The second man was searching for a first principle....not in gods ...but in nature itself.
He asked himself..why can everything exist as it exists. Where does all being come from. Gods werent a satisfactory explanation to him anymore....the explanation had to be more down to earth.
His name was Thales. He lived in Milete, born 620 B.C. Nowadays the westcoast of Turkey, close to Greece.
He tried to understand reality without using gods to explain the phenomena.
There had to be a more rational explanation.
There had to be an underlying, binding priciple that united all things. And he came to the conclusion, that WATER was that principle, the first principle of life and the material world.
And at that moment a rational , analytic approach was born. Reality understood as something materialistic instead of explained and controled by gods.
Western philosophy was born.
Philip Stokes, Philosophy: 100 essential thinkers
The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
[13:17] hope63 Shepherd: herman.. thales is known as one of the great mathematicians of greek history.. so it would be normal for him to expand his thoughts from the abstract of mathematics to the abstract of materia.. doesn't tell mmuch how he FELT about religion..
[13:17] herman Bergson: no...such a primary observation....it moves me all the time....this begining of philosophy as we know it
[13:18] herman Bergson: true...
[13:18] Rodney Handrick: And what year was this again?
[13:18] Wife Stepford: 920 bc
[13:18] herman Bergson: he was religious...he believed in gods, that is reported about him
[13:18] Osrum Sands: sure but Water as first Principle620
[13:18] herman Bergson: 620 BC
[13:18] Wife Stepford: oops lol
[13:19] Anna Parisi: why did it happen at that time...why not before?
[13:19] hope63 Shepherd: the importance of water in the medditerainian region is preponderant..
[13:19] Rodney Handrick: why water and not air?
[13:19] hope63 Shepherd: long befor thales..
[13:19] herman Bergson: yes an interesting question Anna
[13:19] herman Bergson: one thing is for sure.....
[13:20] herman Bergson: at that moment rationality, scientific thought was born
[13:20] herman Bergson: why then...?
[13:20] Pearl Moonlight: no
[13:20] herman Bergson: it only can be becaus epeople were dissatisfied with the usual explanations maybe
[13:21] hope63 Shepherd: please let herman contoinue..
[13:21] Miguel Nykvist: could that have been the first written account of such a thought... instead of the actual event? (rationality...)
[13:21] Pearl Moonlight: no people back did know that when the gods cryed they gave life to them
[13:21] Wife Stepford: but good question is why water and not air?
[13:22] Pearl Moonlight: because of rain
[13:22] hope63 Shepherd: water s scarece and the source of life.. air is abundant
[13:22] herman Bergson: maywell Wife,,that is the funny part of history....air will be one of the next principles thought of by the greeks
[13:22] Wife Stepford: ah ok
[13:22] Rodney Handrick: air is a lesser density of water
[13:22] Osrum Sands: water is more in your face
[13:23] herman Bergson: maybe there is some social explanation for the question of Anna
[13:23] Osrum Sands: you see it you dont see air
[13:23] Wife Stepford: and at time they didn't see earth as planet right?
[13:23] Pearl Moonlight: but u can hear air sometimes
[13:23] herman Bergson: when people dont need to be focused 100% on their primary needs....food and shelter...
[13:24] herman Bergson: when there is some whealth...you get time to think of other things than food and shelter
[13:24] Osrum Sands: Mazlow
[13:24] You: This new idea must have been written somewhere right?
[13:24] herman Bergson: sort of ..yes
[13:25] herman Bergson: well..Thales didnt write a word...
[13:25] herman Bergson: but Herodotes reported about him
[13:25] Osrum Sands: Aristotle attributes the thougths to him
[13:25] herman Bergson: and some other writers ...tho many years later
[13:26] herman Bergson: yet ..and that is amazing
[13:26] herman Bergson: Thales' philosophy was preserved through the ages
[13:26] Rodney Handrick: when the word is not written by the author of the thought can 't something be missed in translation?
[13:26] herman Bergson: yes indeed...and diogenes Laertius and some others
[13:27] Rodney Handrick: hmm...
[13:27] herman Bergson: that we know it was Thales who thought of Water as the principle of being is because different sources said so
[13:28] Rodney Handrick: So...how can you validate the accuracy of that thought?
[13:28] Osrum Sands: of the thought or the event ?
[13:28] Wife Stepford: when did humand see the world as part of an universe?
[13:28] herman Bergson: hardly...
[13:29] Rodney Handrick: Well...the thought generates the event...
[13:29] Anna Parisi: different sources ...telling the same
[13:29] herman Bergson: Much later in our sense but yet astronomy was highly developed inthose days, Wife
[13:29] Osrum Sands: surly the accuracy of the thought is not the point of the matter at this moment of the discussion
[13:29] herman Bergson: It is said that Thales predicted a zoneclips
[13:29] Wife Stepford: i mean that is important if the thought of water instead of air
[13:30] Wife Stepford: ah so he knew
[13:30] Wife Stepford: about starts
[13:30] Wife Stepford: stars*
[13:30] herman Bergson: If the choice for air isnt satisfactory enough you start thinking of other options, Wife
[13:31] herman Bergson: that is what happened
[13:31] Wife Stepford: yup i understand
[13:31] Osrum Sands: Remember THE QUESTION
[13:31] herman Bergson: but just imagine...this was the very beginning of a rational expalnation of reality
[13:31] Wife Stepford: big step
[13:32] herman Bergson: yes....that is what movs me so much in Thales.....that big step inh istory
[13:33] herman Bergson: Well......I think we relived that big step today
[13:33] herman Bergson: just think it over...wonder about it.....just look around and ask what this step has brought to us
[13:34] herman Bergson: With this I want to conclude the lecture for today
[13:34] herman Bergson: it is your homework...;-)
[13:34] Pearl Moonlight smiles
[13:34] herman Bergson: If you wish to continue a conversation..in front of the university is a nice place to do so
[13:35] Wife Stepford: thursday next time>?
[13:35] herman Bergson: Thank you for your attention and contributions to the discussion
[13:35] hope63 Shepherd: i think we should invite herman and really talk abvout things..
[13:35] You: Thanks Herman..
[13:35] hope63 Shepherd: poor guy couldn't really say anything..
[13:35] herman Bergson: yes...Thursday we'll meet Pythagoras
[13:35] Rodney Handrick: Thanks Herman
[13:35] Aaron23 DeCuir: thanks herman see you thursday
[13:36] Miguel Nykvist: Thank you for the lecture Herman :)
[13:36] Wife Stepford: ty :)
[13:36] herman Bergson: yo're welcome..:-)
[13:36] Osrum Sands: Thankyou
[13:36] hope63 Shepherd: and lets talk about math and philosophy and how they work together..
[13:36] Wife Stepford: /hug Herman
[13:36] herman Bergson: intersting subject Hope
[13:36] Wife gives herman a big hug.
[13:36] Wife Stepford: :)
[13:37] Wife Stepford: night :)
[13:37] IM: Rodney Handrick: interesting lecture
[13:40] herman Bergson: Bye Cailleach