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The pre-Socratic philosophers rejected traditional mythological explanations for the phenomena they saw around them in favor of more rational explanations. They asked:

Where does everything come from?
What is it really made out of?
How do we explain the plurality of things found in nature?
Why are we able to describe them with a singular mathematics?

Nearly all of the various cosmologies proposed by the early Greek philosophers are demonstrably false. Later philosophers rejected the answers they provided, but continued to place importance on their questions.

List of Philosophers

This list includes several men, particularly the Seven Sages, who appear to have been practical politicians and sources of epigrammatic wisdom, rather than speculative thinkers or philosophers in the modern sense.

Periander (625-585 BC)
Solon (c. 594 BC)
Thales (c. 585 BC)
Aristeas of Proconessus (7th Century BC ?)
Anaximander (610-547)
Anaximenes of Miletus (585-525)
Pherecydes of Syros (c. 540 BC)
Chilon of Sparta (c. 560 BC)
Bias of Priene (c. 570 BC)
Cleobulus of Rhodes (c. 600 BC)
Anacharsis (c. 590 BC)
Pittacus of Mitylene (c. 600 BC)
Pythagoras (582-496)
Theano (mathematician) (5th century BC, dates unknown)
Xenophanes (570-470)
Heraclitus (535-475)
Parmenides (510-440)
Leucippus (5th century BC, dates unknown)
Anaxagoras (500-428)
Empedocles (490-430)
Zeno of Elea (490-430)
Hippias (485-415)
Gorgias (483-375)
Protagoras (481-420)
Philolaus (480-405)
Antiphon (person) (480-411)
Melissus of Samos (C.470-Unknown)
Prodicus (465-390?)
Diogenes of Apollonia (C.460-Unknown)
Democritus (460-370)
Archytas (428-347)


D. H. Th. Vollenhoven's History of the Presocratic Philosophers translated by H. Evan Runner [1] (http://www.freewebs.com/presocratics/)

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