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Ancient Philosophers Overview


Thales of Miletus is remembered for their influences on science and philosophy. Though there are no writings on Thales, his achievements are difficult to evaluate and are based on the legendary Seven Wise Men. As a practical statesman, Thales advocated the unification of Ionian cities in the Aegean region. Thales applied his knowledge of geometry to calculate the distance of ships from the shore and measure the Egyptian pyramids.

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Modern-day scholars suggest that Thales’ knowledge was critical in estimating the localities of characters within an eclipse. The estimation of a nearly total eclipse earned him the reputation of an astronomer. Thales discovered the five geometric theorems that apply to modern-day mathematics (Shaukat & Ahmad, 2020). The first theorem was that a circle is divided into two by its diameter. Secondly, he discovered that the opposite angles in a triangle with equal two sides are equal. Also, the opposite angles of two lines that intersect are equal. Some philosophers claimed that Thales founded European philosophy and was the first to suggest the universe had a single material substratum. Mathematicians later developed the application of geometry to estimate the location of bodies in space.


Socrates influenced the works of many philosophers of the classical period. Although most of his work was never written, his philosophical work depends on the narration from his prodigies such as Plato and later Aristotle. Socrates was an enigmatic individual who forever influenced how philosophy is described. Socrates’ death at the hands of Athens forms the basis of philosophy as an academic discipline. Socrates’ work is adored and emulated, which is strange for someone who was not a religious leader. Aristotle, a student of Plato, a student of Socrates, provided the most trusted analogies of Socrates in his written dialogues with Plato. According to Aristotle, Socrates’ influences may have been eroded due to the Athenian war that dominated during his time.

Socrates studied human life and how life could be improved for the mutual peace of the entire society. The values of friendship and love are described as being critical in Socrates’ work. Socrates’ criticism of Athenian democracy politics landed him in clashes with the lawmakers frequently (Stavru & Moore, 2017). However, modern political activists such as Martin Luther King Jnr described Socrates’ disobedience of the Athenian hypocritical philosophy as critical for fighting for equality in the current world. Socrates influenced popular culture as it is now and inspired a variety of associations. The intellectual advancement of the present universe is a result of the work of Socrates and other philosophers. Socrates influenced various aspects of human life, such as concepts of reality. The ability of human knowledge to create happiness for them and emotional purity are essential for the growth of the human mind and will. Socrates’ philosophy also enables man to explain and comprehend human nature.


Plato influenced significant areas of life that affected the human’s ability to think and invent and molded remarkable recoveries that shaped the world as it is presently. Born and living in the classical period between 428-347 B.C, Plato created an academy to transfer his philosophical work to his prodigy, Aristotle. The Platonist school of thought was among the first institution of higher learning in Ancient Greece. Plato discovered dialogue and the forms of dialectic communication. The most considerable influence Plato was in the field of politics and trade. Plato considered that since non-Athenic merchants dominated the markets, the political arena of Greece should therefore be controlled by the Greeks. Plato influenced the immortality of the soul and considers that reason is an important quality that separates humans from other divinations. He proposes that reason is located in the head and determines the significant functions of the human body.

Platonic philosophies focused on man, their uniqueness, divine morality, and the ultimate reality that defines man’s space and intellect. Plato also described the concept of love, friendship, and relationship and how a man can use them to his benefit. Human nature is described in the notions of intelligence and rationality based on the philosophical work of Plato (Shaukat & Ahmad, 2020). These notions relate directly to the human’s current social and political life shown in how man leads themselves in complex political democracies. Plato’s work in classical mathematics is described in the four classical elements: air, fire, water, and earth, and how these elements influence the universe and heaven. The value of Plato’s work in politics and mathematics is evident in the success and participation of all citizens in the representative states’ decision-making.


Aristotle was a disciple of Plato and one of the most influential philosophers today. His philosophy was based on daily interactions with people. This differed from earlier philosophers who argued that philosophy was beyond the access of physical senses. He is credited for categorizing generalized knowledge into the distinct subjects that apply today.

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Aristotle’s philosophy of syllogism logic is still used today. The logic of deduction is based on this principle and showed how conclusions must be based on presiding propositions. Aristotle initiated the classification of organisms that were essential in the development of biology. Today classification has been advanced to include micro-organisms that are essential for the treatment of viruses. His influences also complement his contribution to life sciences in physics on the topic of motion. Aristotle’s definition informed the modern-day accepted definition of motion. The contributions of Aristotle in ethics constitute the various behavioral and social virtues that make the ideal man. Aristotle introduced ethics as the ability to resist the temptation to enjoy a pleasure based on the exploitation of the welfare of others.


Pythagoras is popular because of his ideas in mathematics than in philosophy. Pythagoras was focused on creating a balance between life and philosophy. His contributions to geometry were rewarded through a theory that was named after him. Pythagoras’ theorem was focused on identifying ways to lead a harmonious life.

Pythagoras’ application of mathematics in spiritualism tried to objectively measure the qualitative aspects of life (Stavru & Moore, 2017). The concern of arithmetic laid the foundation for the current mathematics. Pythagoras introduced the scientific approach to public policy as a new way of life. In cosmology, Pythagoras was the first to suggest that the earth was spherical. During the period, the earth was still considered the center of the universe, and the rest of the universe revolved around it. Pythagoras laid the foundation for challenges of preconceived ideas about the structure of the universe that has been advanced philosophers. Pythagoras also contributed to the cycle of human life on matters of the soul.


Zeno of Elea focused on solving the puzzles of motion and plurality when many philosophers focused on the use of knowledge to interpret nature. Before the development of logic, Zeno attempted to explain the present contradictions in the physical world. He contributed to space and time relative to distance and was the first to discover the issue of infinity.

Zeno introduced mathematical and logical rigor to solve everyday issues. Zeno introduced the unit’s premises as having a magnitude, which could be divided infinitely and is indivisible. The application of logic is used in modern-day challenges. For example, he argued that subtraction could only be done from something (Shaukat & Ahmad, 2020). Zeno also simplified mathematical theorems so that they could be applied to day-to-day challenges. Zeno’s paradoxes have been applied today in standard analysis by defining length as a measure of motion. The solution to the paradoxes concluded that space was not linear because it consisted of three dimensions.


Anaximander succeeded Thales and was the first writer of philosophy. He contributed significantly to the early stages of Geography and Biology. Contrary to the held image of a closed universe, he was the first to draw an open image universe. He argued that the source of everything was the unlimited substance that was the point of differentiation for the polar temperatures. He could be credited with the evolutionary view of living organisms. He suggested that things originated from the evaporation of an element, and man must have originated from some other kind of animal. Darwin later developed this as the foundation of modern-day biology. His idea of evolution led to the current classification of living organisms. In other words, the applications of his arguments are the foundation for modern-day medicine.


Shaukat, M. A., & Ahmad, H. (2020). A Historical Survey of Evolution in the Concept and Status of “Man” Greek to Modern Times. Journal of Islamic Thought and Civilization, 10(1), 235-254. Web.

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Stavru, A., & Moore, C. (Eds.). (2017). Socrates and the Socratic dialogue. Brill. Web.

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