See also: Thalès (homonymy)
Thalès de Milet commonly called Thalès (in Greek old Θαλής / Thalli ), was a philosophical presocratic Ionian born with Milet about the year 625 and died about the year 547 av. J. - C. It was one of the wise Seven of the Greece and the supposed founder of the school milésienne. He is often regarded as the first philosopher of the Occident.
Thalès de Milet is regarded as the first scientific philosopher, and Greek mathematician. It is also seen like a politician, if one takes account of his participation in the group of “the Seven Wise ones”. It had a first named woman Cléfitis, then one second named woman Apolide.
To locate in time is difficult if one takes account of the date of the eclipse of the sun which he supposément would supposément have predicted. But Diogène Laërce locates its death at the 58e Olympiad (548 - 545 av. J. - C.).
The life of Thalès obviously underwent a process of idealization, and what we know of this thinker, as for the others Présocratiques informs, us especially about the common type of wise in Greece. Bringing back the dires Hérodote, Diogène tells that Thalès would be the son of Examios, a merchant, and of Cléobuline. One hears sometimes that it went down from the family of the Thélides, of the mythical kings of Phénicie of the line of Agénor and Cadmos. Several other sources however affirm that it was perhaps of origin Béotie or phenician and probably contemporary of Solon and Crésus and that it would have settled with Milet in company of his friend Neileôs. It is thus not sure that Thalès is Milésien, though a current tradition makes of him a descendant of an easy family of Millet. However, it is necessary to insist on the fact that the most reliable and complete sources come from Diogène Laërce and Hérodote.
It however began its life as simple trading then was directed towards a political career and economic.
With regard to its political career, here what reports Diogène Laërce: “It also appears to have been an eminent political adviser. Thus it marked its opposition, when Crésus sent an embassy to propose in Milésiens to engage at its sides; being then given the victory of Cyrus, this refusal ensured the survival of the City. ” This reputation enabled him to convince the city-States (or Polis ) of Ionie to gather of federation. Thalès the scientist should not thus occult another Thalès, skilful in businesses and prompt to disparage its clean discovered and its acquired fortune. He knew initially his fame as military adviser and engineer. During the war between the Persian and the Lydian , it would have diverted the course of the Halys river to make pass the army of Crésus.
It embarked one day towards Naucratis (current Egypt), city recognized for its scientific culture. It studied the Mathématiques there, particularly the Géométrie where it made already some discoveries.
It is claimed that it impassioned Gymnastique and that one would have found died it in the steps, by dehydration at the time of a competition to which it assisted. Diogène Laërce reports us his death in a moving way:
“Thalès the Wise one died while attending a sporting meeting, because of hunger, of thirst, and the weakness of the age. One engraves on his tomb:“Small is this tomb, but to the sky its gloire.Ourselves composed on him the following epigram, published with the first book of our Epigrams and various meters:
goes Look at, it is that of Thalès, great mind. ”“While he contemplated a sporting fight,
Solar Zeus, you have, out of the stage, ravi
Thalès whose sapience had made the renom.
I rent you to have recalled it close to you,
Because it was very old, and since this ground,
The force missed to him to observe the stars. ”
Here an interesting anecdote brought back by Diogène Laërce and taken again by Plato in the Théétète (174 a), which illustrates well the interest of Thalès for the study of the stars:
Socrat: The example of Thalès you will make it include/understand, Theodore. It observed the stars and, as it had the eyes with the sky, it fell into a well. A maidservant of Thrace, fine and spiritual, scoffed it, says one, by saying that it was évertuait to know what occurred in the sky, and that it did not take guard with what was in front of him and with its feet. The same joke applies to all those which pass their life to philosophize. It is certain, indeed, that such a man knows neither near, nor neighbor; he does not know what they do, hardly knows if they are men or creatures of another species; but what can be the man and what such a nature must do or support who distinguishes it from the other beings, here what he seeks and takes the trouble to be discovered. You include/understand, I think, Theodore; don't you include/understand?
Thalès, the founder in this manner of philosophizing, takes water for principle, and for this reason he claimed that the ground rested on water, probably brought to this opinion because he had observed that the wet one is the food of all the beings, and that heat itself comes from the wet one and lives some; however, that from which come the things is their principle. It is from there that it drew its doctrines, and also of what the germs of all things are of their nature wet, and which water is the principle of the wet things. Several think that as of highest antiquity, well before our time, the first theologists had the same opinion on nature: because they had made the Ocean and Téthys authors of all the phenomena of this world, and they show the gods swearing by water that the poets call Styx. Indeed, which there is of older is than there is of holier; and what there is of holier, it is the oath. Are there really a physical system in this old woman and ancient opinion? it is that which one could doubt. But for Thalès one says that such was its doctrines.
This primitive element is of dubious origin, perhaps Phénicie.
Design of Thalès: a ground floating, like a wood disc, on water; and a universe filled with paramount matter, i.e. under consideration like a liquid mass, agrees, like shows it Tannery, For the history of science Helene , pp. 70 sq., in a certain measurement with the Egyptian idea of paramount water Nun, divided into two separate masses. The former Babylonians pareillement admitted a higher Ocean and a lower Ocean; cf Fritz Hommel, DER babylonische Ursprung DER aegyptischen Kultur, Munich 1892, p. 8. One can also compare with the book of the Genesis, I 7. The agreement between the fundamental doctrines of Thalès and that of the semi sect Jewish of Sampséens remains completely obscure; cf Hilgenfeld, Judentum und Judenchristentum , p. 98, according to Epiphan. Haeres, 19,1; cf also Plutarque, on the Syrians, Quaest. conviv., VIII 8,4 (Mor., 891, 7 sq., Dübner). The current trend is to regard Thalès as mere intermediary between foreigners and Greeks; this tendency however has against it the way in which the best authority, Eudème, COp cit., speak about geometrical work of Thalès and the report/ratio in which they are with Egyptian mathematics.
The reason of this choice for water undoubtedly comes from the importance of this one in the growth and the nutrition of the alive things, of its central role in the daily newspaper of Milésiens and the observations which one claims that it made in Egypt as for the importance of the the Nile and other rivers which were the subject of worships. But the originality of Thalès is to make of this mythological explanation a principle of knowledge Physique and Métaphysique; indeed, the unit of the element water is also the unit of the world: “Thalès and its school: the world is one”, Aetius.
This thesis is a great innovation, because it supposes the assertion of truths, not starting from some singular objects, as it was the case before him for the Egyptians or the Babylonians, but for an infinity of objects contained in the world and for the world itself. It thus states truths concerning a whole class of beings. Thus, according to the German hellenist Zeller (19th century), the major contribution of Thalès is to have generalized and have conceptualized its observations, to be parvenu with the concept of the a without losing itself in the accumulation of disparate observations. It is there the fundamental thesis of this philosopher of which we do not know anything with certainty. Sometimes one allots at Thalès a rather tempting design of the universe: this one would be a kind of hemispherical bubble of air formed by the concavity of the Sky and the plane surface of the Earth, which floats itself on water. The earthmoving on water would explain the Earthquakes.
It could also benefit from its observations. Aristote tells that Thalès, envisaging an abundant olive harvest, would have monopolized the presses for better monnayer their services; he wanted to thus show that the wise one is able to make fortune but that he is not worried any, preferring contemplation, the scientific research and the honest life.
Diogène Laërce, in Lives, Doctrines and sentences of the famous philosophers , vol. 1, specifies that Hiéronyme says that it measured the Pyramides of Egypt by calculating the relationship between their shade and that of our body. The anecdote reports that the Pharaon Amasis would have put his knowledge to the test by saying to him that nobody was in measurement of knowing which was the height of the Grande Pyramid.
It left the principle simply that at a certain time of the day, the shade of any object becomes equal to its height. It only remained to him to determine the exact moment. It was for that to also take account of what the rays of the sun were to be perpendicular with one on its sides, which occurred only twice per year (November 21st and on January 20th). The reason of that is that the pyramid of Khéops is in Gizeh (30° latitude in the northern hemisphere) and so that the shade is equal to the object, it is necessary that the solar rays is tilted with 45°. Moreover, so that the shade is perpendicular to the base, it must be directed North-South. Consequently, Thalès made use of its own size like measuring unit. It obtained the following results: 18 thalli for the shade, then it measured the side of the base which it divided by two and obtained 67 thalli; the pyramid of Khéops measures 85 Thalès then. However in local measurement, Thalès was worth 3,25 bent Egyptian, which makes on the whole 276,25 bent. We know today that the height of the pyramid of Khéops of 280 is bent either 147 meters. Like what, the measurement of Thalès was already passably precise. Impressed by this calculation, the priests gave him access to the library where it could consult many works of astronomy.
Its name is famous for the famous Théorème from Thalès (which he did not know), which gives relations between the reports/ratios of distances from triangles. The first demonstration of this theorem is allotted to Euclide which presents it in its Éléments , in Book VI (Proposal 2) - it shows it by proportionality of surfaces of triangles equal height.
The historians allot however five theorems of elementary geometry to him:
- a circle is divided in two equal parts by any diameter.
- the angles at the base of an isosceles triangle are equal.
- the vertical angles are equal.
- Two triangles are equal if they have two angles and the side included/understood equal.
- an inscribed angle in a half-circle is right.
Its interest for the Astronomie pushed it to make many observations on the Constellation S. It would have been the first to note the voyage of the Sun between the two Tropics. It also establishes that some star S were not all fixed compared to the others and it baptized them “Planet S”, which means wandering body. One even says that he managed to index the éphémérides of them. It was as the first to note as the year did not count 365 days, but 365 and one quarter.
It is reported that he predicts the eclipse of the sun 585 av. J. - C. At that time, the prediction of the lunar eclipses was relatively known since they are repeated on a nineteen years cycle. But no proof supports this assertion and it seems that it concerns the legend rather. Thalès did not have necessary knowledge to make the forecast of a solar eclipse. She asks not only powerful geometrical means but also of complex trigonometrical calculations, even of the éphémérides, which will be at the disposal of the astronomers only several centuries later. It would have perhaps used certain data gathered by the Babylonian , but as the eclipse was at a point different from the sphere, this assumption is debatable. At all events, when the prediction were carried out, the Mèdes and the Lydians then in war were taken of a panic such as they concluded an peace agreement.
It is in its time which the knowledge of the electricity goes up since it knew already that the Ambre had the property to attract light materials. Following these experiments, the word “electricity” ( ηλεκτρον in Greek old) is given in reference to the yellow amber.
The Millet school
Of return to Millet, it founded the École milésienne. It is known that Anaximandre and Anaximène was its successors. But we do not have any writing of him, and we do not know even if he never wrote. It is difficult to specify its ideas and to be assured certain of its scientific discoveries. It is known however that in this school, he would have pronounced the famous formula from now on: “Know yourself. ”
The Millet school carries out two large projections founders:
- the first is the distinction between the natural and the Surnaturel. Written Loydd thus that “Milésiens leave the gods to the door”. In a more exact way, they do not drive out divine knowledge of the world, but the Mythologie, by seeking natural causes with the phenomena. This change of attitude makes succeed the naturalist explanation the traditional divine explanation.
- the second results from this naturally by research from the veracity: Milésiens set up the discussion of the defended arguments. To admit the scientific discussion is a need for the scientific projection and a quality of rationality.
“Difficult to even know oneself. ”
- “What is sure it is what arrived, nobody knows what will arrive. ”
- “Surrounds you able people. ”
- “the need is powerful, it overcomes all. ”
- “Better is worth to make desire than pity. ”
- “time is wise, it reveals all. ”
- “do not say that you intend to do something because if you fail, all will laugh at you. ”
- “Which is happy: the quite bearing, rich, courageous and educated man. ”
Sponde, praesto noxa is; Amicorum praesentium and absentium memorandum; Faciem ornato, sed studiis honestis ornatissimus esto; Male Noli ditescere; Cellar sermo tuus invisum you faciat iis which fide interposita earundem rerum socii sunt; parentibus blandiri dubita; Maleficium admitte; Qualia parentibus praemia dederis, talia ipse senex has liberis tuis exspecta; Difficult is noscere bonum; Suavissimum is optatis potiri; Desidia LMBO molesta is; Malum intemperantia; Ignorantia inconvenienced is; Doce ac disce will meliora; Noli otiari, etiamsi divine located; LMBO secundas that invidiae declinandae caused; FAC miserabilis did not trust; Modum adhibe; Bus cellar credas; Quum will imperas, rege you ipsum.
- (I, 74-75 and 170; II, 20 and 109)
- Théétète , 174 has
- Protagoras , 343 has
- Politique I, XI, 1259 has 6 - ** Metaphysical , has, III, 983 B 6
- Traité sky , II, XIII, 294 has, 28
- Of the heart , I, V, 411 has 7 and I, II, 405 have 19
- Scolie with Plato, République , X, 600a
- Callimaque, Iambes , france 94
- , I, 65
- Tatien, Discours with the Greeks , 41
- Eusèbe, Chronographie , Against Julien
- , I, 49,111,112
- , I, X, 25
- , III, 13 and 14, IV, 2,22; VI, 6,1
- , Solon , 2; 12
- Isis and Osiris , 34
- the Banquet of the Seven Wise , 2
- Why the Pythie prophetess does not return any more oracles in worms , 18,402, E
- , I, 22-40
- , II, 53, XVIII, 213, XXXVI, 82
- Proclus, Commentaire on the first book of Euclide , 65,3
- Flavius Josèphe, Against Apion , I, 2
- Aetius, Opinions , I, III, I
- Jamblique, pythagoric Vie , 12
- Simplicius, Comment on the Physics of Aristote , 23,21 and 458,23
- Apulée, Floridas , 18
- Julien, Speech , III, 162,2
- Galien, On moods of Hippocrates , I, I
- Ausone, Play of the Seven Wise
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