In the early times, before the beginning of human civilization and development of
philosophy, people believed in the idea that Gods, who basically controlled every
individual aspect of human existence, controlled the world. Some primitive people
believed in the idea of Animism, or Hylozoism. (The belief that everything in the
universe, especially material objects, have some kind of sole or is a living being.) These
people believed that rocks, trees, and water had some kind of sole. Animism can still be
seen today in Native American tribes as well as the Aboriginal people of Australia.
Although the Greek culture didn’t believe in Animism, an Ionian named Thales
adopted this idea in his own way. Thales was born in the Greek city-state of Ionia in the
mid 620’s(BC.) Thales did not only study knowledge philosophy, but also practiced
science, history, engineering, geography, and politics. Thales was the first of his time to
propose theories of a primary substance that causes change, and supports the universe.
Thales believed that water was this substance, and the essence of life. He also believed
that it was made up of small Gods. Although his theories didn’t prove to be right, such as
spontaneous generation, or the theory that earthquakes were caused by waves, Thales is
considered to be the father of philosophy.
Anaximander was another Ionian who happened to be a philoso...
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