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 philosopher. He knew Thales but disagreed with him in his theories. Anaximander wasn't only a philosopher, but a scientist and inventor. He is even credited for creating the first sundial. Anaximander believed in the theory of "apieron." Apieron is the unlimited, indeficit, indestructible substance out of which individual things are created with and destroyed. Although he believed apieron was real, he also believed that it was unexplainable. It would be like saying that the letter W explained the alphabet. He also believed that the formation of the world was due to the...
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