Milesian school


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Milesian school:

see Ionian schoolIonian school,
pre-Socratic group of Greek philosophers of the 6th and 5th cent. B.C.; most of them were born in Ionia. Its members were primarily concerned with the origins of the universe—the forces that shaped it and the materials of which it is composed.
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Milesian School

 

the first ancient Greek school of näive materialism, represented by Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes (sixth century B.C.). It received its name from the city of Miletus in Ionia, on the western coast of Asia Minor.

The Milesian school heralded the beginning of ancient Greek philosophy; the Milesian philosophers rose above the merely apparent and perceived a certain essence of things (a first principle) beyond and apart from the diversity of phenomena. For them, this essence consisted in something distinctly corporeal (see F. Engels, in K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 20, p. 502). For Thales, it is water; for Anaximander, it is an indefinite and limitless primal substance (apeiron); for Anaximenes, it is air.

Viewing the world as a living whole, the Milesian school made no fundamental distinction between animate and inanimate or between psychic and physical. It merely recognized a lesser degree of animateness (life) in inanimate objects, while animateness itself (soul) was regarded as a subtle and fluid form of primal matter.

The Milesian school greatly influenced the subsequent development of materialist thought in ancient Greece.

WORKS

Fragments in H. Diels, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 9th ed., vol. 1. Edited by W. Kranz. Berlin, 1960.
In Russian in P. Tannery, Pervye shagi drevnegrecheskoi nauki. St. Petersburg, 1902. Pages 3–13, 20–24.
In Russian in A. Makovel’skii, Dosokratiki, part 1. Kazan, 1914. Pages 9–24, 35–47, 51–57.

REFERENCES

Lur’e, S. la. Ocherki po istorii antichnoi nauki. Gretsiia epokhi rastsveta, Moscow-Leningrad, 1947. Pages 13–42.
Losev, A. F. Istoriia antichnoi estetiki. Moscow, 1963. Pages 339–44.
Mikhailova, E. N., and A. N. Chanyshev. Ioniiskaia filosofiia. Moscow, 1966.

F. KH. KESSIDI

References in periodicals archive ?
Later in the same book he says, 'The founder of the Milesian School and therefore the first man of science [