The Pre-Socratics were ancient Greek philosophers who lived before Socrates. They were interested in understanding the natural world through rational thinking rather than mythological explanations. The Milesian philosophers, Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes, believed in different fundamental substances such as water, the boundless (apeiron), and air, respectively. The Pythagoreans, followers of Pythagoras, focused on mathematics and believed in the significance of numbers and mystical properties associated with them. Their ideas influenced later philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, and they marked a shift from relying on myths to using reason and evidence for understanding the world. Although much of their work is not directly available, their contributions played a crucial role in shaping Western philosophy and science.
Posts under the tag #philosophynotes are an ongoing series of notes to myself as I audit a course on ancient philosophy this summer ('23).