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Parmenides

Parmenides

He was one of the most influential pre-Socratic thinkers.

Parmenides argued that change was an illusion based on our faulty image of reality. He explained that nothing could be created or destroyed and everything was really “one being." That is, all substances are part of the same larger whole.

As he thought that it was impossible to conceive of “nothingness" he also argued that empty space was an impossibility. This lead him to declare motion to be impossible, as any movement would require empty space to move into.

204

481 reads

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Thales

Thales

  • Thales is best remembered for his metaphysics which argued that everything originated from water and that water somehow constituted all other elements. He left no writings.
  • Thales devoted time to astronomy and was the first person to predict ...

226

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Diogenes of Sinope

Diogenes of Sinope

Diogenes founded the Cynical school of philosophy, a school dedicated to simple living and virtue. Advocating a simple, disciplined, self-sufficient life, Diogenes lived in a large jar and owned nothing but a cloak and staff. He begged for food and avoided luxuries like the p...

196

417 reads

Pythagoras

Pythagoras

  • Pythagoras was a Greek mathematician, philosopher, and mystic. He is best known for the similarly named theorem.
  • He did most of his work in southern Italy and wrote nothing down.
  • Pythagoras was a sage who founded a small religion of devoted ...

204

582 reads

Heraclitus

Heraclitus

A philosopher active around 500 BCE, that wrote a book; this gives us a direct path to his thoughts. He felt that wisdom should be earned, he wrote obscurely, so much so that his book was challenging to read.

He developed a cosmology. His c...

202

550 reads

Zeno of Elea

He was a pioneer of the reductio ad absurdum argument. Aristotle credited him with co-inventing the dialectic method of philosophy.

He is best remembered for his paradoxes

202

454 reads

Zeno of Citium

The founder of the Stoic school of philosophy, Zeno was heavily influenced by the Cynics.

Initially a wealthy merchant, he became interested in philosophy during a trip to Athens and grew to be a highly regarded teacher. 

Stoicism is a philosophy dedicated to ...

206

456 reads

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Einstein and Light

Albert Einstein did not think about symmetry when he wrote his first relativity papers in 1905. He was considering several seemingly unrelated puzzles and connecting the dots.

  • Einstein realized that the speed of light - a speed that stayed constant - was a measurable manifestation of...

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