Thales Vs Anaximander

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Thales to Anaximander, from One Philosopher to Another The movement of philosophical thinking from Thales to Anaximander has very different ideas in their premises about the “One.” The “One,” in accordance to Thales is “Water,” and Anaximander defines it as “Boundless.” These two philosophers are regarded as the first men to question the basis of all things. In this essay I will examine Thales and Anaximander in-order-to compare and contrast their ideas of the “One.” I will first share some of the imperative differences between the two philosophers. These ideas include, the difference between the one as water and a concrete thing versus the one as boundless and indeterminate. Then the similarities between the philosophers will be discussed. …show more content…
In the seventh edition of The Great Conversation, A historical Introduction to Philosophy, written by Norman Melchert, the author says Thales, “is said to have held (1) that the cause and element of all things is water.” Thales believes that water is the origin of all things. This is a thoughtful piece of insight seeing that everything is dependent upon water, from the fish in the sea to humans on land, hence the empirical observation of the “One” as being concrete. He believes that since water is a naturally occurring substance, it must be the one and only thing governing the world itself. Another form of evidence provided by the Melchert, is Aristotle’s speculation that, “Thales must have noticed that water is essential for the nourishment of all things and that without moisture, seeds will not develop into plants.” Plants are the main source of food on earth and the basis of the food chain. Without the water supply for the plants the food chain, or pyramid, falls apart. The next plausible observation Thales made is the fact that water exists in all three states of matter, solid to liquid to gas. This suggested that water could take on many forms, allowing for the connection that water exists in …show more content…
Melchert classifies both Thales and Anaximander as the first Nature Philosophers. They have transitioned from Hesiod and Homer’s Mythological claims of the origin to the universe, to a more scientific viewpoint. Thales uses the transition of water from a “solid to liquid to gas” according to Melchert as scientific evidence that water exists in the earth, air, and all other things. Thales uses observations of the world around him to prove his premise, which is the basis of the Scientific Theory. Anaximander also uses observations to prove his theory correct. Another similarity is that both philosophers still believed in the Gods. Melchert states Thales believes since water is eternal in our world and so are the Gods, “all things are made of Gods.” Anaximander then says that his boundless theory is infinite like the Gods in-order-to prove his rational argument. Even though Thales and Anaximander say that their arguments, the “One as Water” and “the Boundless,” are God–like they didn’t mean all things are made of God’s. There wasn’t any word at that time to describe eternal besides God. So when Thales was describing the water, and Anaximander was describing his limitless ideal they meant to say that water is eternal in all things or the boundless is eternal in all things. In the case of Anaximander’s argument, Melchert says, “Recall the main characteristic of the Greek gods: They are

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