Pre- Socratic Philosophers

Pre- Socratic Philosophers

Pre-Socratic Philosophers-

It is the ancient Greek Philosophy before the influence of Socrates. We are going to specifically look at the ontological views of the world by the following philosophers.

Thales, Anaxagoras, Anaximenes, Pythagoras, Parmenides, Heraclitus and Democritus


Originating principle of world and nature is a single natural substance i.e., water.

Thales used Geometry and Deductive Reasoning for deriving conclusion to a problem and is well known for his Mathematical Discovery.


Originating principles of the world and cosmos is nous or mind.

Everything is consisting of the portions of everything else. The food we eat creates our body, blood, flesh. It is because it already has the portions seen in the resulting products of the body, flesh, etc.


Originating principles of the world is air. It is because air is the primary substance of which every being is composed.

Every change in the Universe is the result of two important factors i.e., Condensation and Rarefaction.

These three philosophers(Thales, Anaxagoras, Anaximenes) are known to be from the school of Miletus(school of thought founded in 6th century B.C)


  1. All things are numbers. The physical world could be understood through numbers.
  2. Pythagoras believed in immortality and transmigration of the soul.
  3. The world is made up of the interaction of the opposite qualities such as male-female, even-odd, etc.


Reality is one, permanent and changeless.

Parmenides only written work is a poem entitled ‘on nature’.


Everything is constantly changing. Famous statement- ‘You cannot step into the same river twice’.

Fire is the basic principle for the orderly nature of the universe.


Everything is derived from the smallest particle called an atom. Democritus developed the atomistic theory of his teacher Leucippus.

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