Greek Philosophy

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Definition

Ancient Greek philosophy is a system of thought, first developed in the 6th century BCE, which was informed by a focus on the First Cause of observable phenomena. Prior to the development of this system by Thales of Miletus (l. c. 585 BCE), the world was understood by the ancient Greeks as having been created by the gods.

More about: Greek Philosophy

Timeline

  • c. 610 BCE - c. 546 BCE
    Dates of Anaximander who develops the cosmic theory of the apeiron as the First Cause of existence.
  • c. 585 BCE
    Time in which Thales of Miletus lived.
  • 28 May 585 BCE
    A battle between Media and Lydia broke off immediately as a result of a total eclipse of the sun and the two armies made peace. The eclipse was successfully predicted by Thales of Miletus.
  • c. 571 BCE - c. 497 BCE
    Life of Pythagoras of Samos; claim that "number" is the First Cause of existence and the soul is immortal.
  • c. 570 BCE - c. 478 BCE
    Life of Xenophanes of Colophon.
  • c. 546 BCE
    Date of Anaximenes' work; air is claimed as the First Cause of existence.
  • c. 500 BCE
    Heraclitus of Ephesus lives; claims that change is the essence of life and First Cause.
  • 492 BCE - 432 BCE
    Life of the philosopher Empidocles of Agrigento.
  • c. 485 BCE - c. 415 BCE
    Life of the Sophist Protagoras of Abdera; claim that "man is the measure of all things".
  • c. 469 BCE - 399 BCE
    Life of Socrates.
  • c. 465 BCE
    Zeno of Elea flourishes; writes 40 logical paradoxes to support Parmenides' Monist view.
  • c. 460 BCE - c. 370 BCE
    Life of Democritus, pupil of Leucippus; development of the concept of the atomic universe.
  • c. 445 BCE
    Leucippus of Abdera, the philosopher, is said to have conceived of the atomic universe. His pupil is Democritus.
  • c. 445 BCE - 365 BCE
    Life of Greek Cynic philosopher Antisthenes of Athens.
  • c. 440 BCE
    The Greek philosopher Melissus of Samos is active.
  • c. 424 BCE - 423 BCE
    Plato is born at Athens, Greece.
  • 407 BCE
    Plato meets Socrates, abandons aspiration to be playwright.
  • c. 404 BCE - 323 BCE
    Life of Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope.
  • 403 BCE
    Plato turns away from politics toward philosophy.
  • 399 BCE
    Trial and death of the philosopher Socrates, who taught in the court of the Agora.
  • 384 BCE - 322 BCE
    Life of Aristotle.
  • 367 BCE
    Aristotle begins studies in Athens at Plato's Academy.
  • c. 360 BCE - 280 BCE
    Life of Greek Philosopher Crates of Thebes.
  • c. 470 CE - c. 385 CE
    Life of the philosopher Philolaus, active in Magna Graecia.
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