Philosophy is the combination of two Greek words, Ist one is Philo (which means love) and the other one is Sophia (which means wisdom or knowledge) and a person who loves knowledge or wisdom is called Philosopher. If we look at the history of philosophy, then It will not wrong to say that the people of ancient Greek are the main source or founders of philosophy. In this article, we will discuss the top 10 most popular Greek Philosopher and In this list of top ten famous Greek philosophers, we will Include pre-Socratic lovers of wisdom also. So the list of these amazing people is in the following:
1. Thales of Miletus
It is believed that Thales is the first ancient Greek philosopher and scientist in the history of the world. He was born in the Miletus at 624 BCE and died in 546 BC known as the first great master of Miletus. Thales is a Pre-Socratic philosopher, who believed that everything is full of life. He also believed that the whole universe is made of one thing and that thing is water and even earth, mountains, clouds, animals, human, stones too. He amazed the people of Miletus by his prediction about the first solar eclipse, and the people of his era got stunned when his prediction came hundred percent true.
Moreover mathematics is the favorite subject of Thales, But In fact, he loved mathematics. He developed or presented a trigonometric theorem named Thales Theorem, which is shown in the above picture. By using Thales Theorem we can measure the heights of things like towers etc. His main Interests are Mathematics, Ethics, Metaphysics, and Astronomy.
Note: He was the Greek Philosopher who believed that earth is swimming in the water and described the reason of earthquake; which was the high-level waves of water.
2. Anaximander of Miletus
Anaximander is a very Intelligent student of Thales. He was born in ancient Greek city Miletus at 610 BCE and died in 546 BCE. He was known as the second great master of Miletus. According to his teachings; The whole world or universe is made of one thing and that is Apeiron. He also claimed that opposites (for example, life’s opposite is death, same like that dark and light, men and women, day and night, white and black, right and wrong, good and bad etc) have born due to resulting of Apeiron; and he named this theory as “Unity of Opposites”. Moreover, He was the first one who believed that Sun is a huge mass and that is far away from the planet earth; and he was also the first person who made the map of the world for the first time. He mostly liked the subjects of Metaphysics, geography, and astronomy.
3. Anaximenes of Miletus
Anaximenes is also known as the third Greek philosopher of Miletus. He was born in 585 BCE and died in 525 BCE and was the student of Anaximander. Anaximenes also believed that the whole world is made of one thing same like Thales and Anaximander, but that thing is not water nor Apeiron. According to him; the world is made of air. Anaximenes also believed same like Thales that the world is swimming, but on air, not water. He also told the reason of earthquake that It happens because of ups and downs high pressure of air. The main subject which he liked the most is Metaphysics.
Pythagoras is very well known mathematician and lover of wisdom, even students of the 21st century also know him due to his theorem named Pythagoras theorem. He was born in 570 BC on the Island of Samos and died in 495 BC. The Intellectuals or well-educated persons of that era called themselves sage, but Pythagoras is the first who called himself a Philosopher and he was the first person of the Greek philosophical history who established his own academy in 530 BC in Croton (Italy’s city); at where his students could learn anything directly from him. His main Interests are revolving around Metaphysics, Mathematics, Politics, Ethics and Music.
Note: Students of Pythagoras called their self Pythagorean.
Heraclitus was born also known as a pre-Socratic philosopher and He was born in 535 BC and died in 475 BC. He was a very rich man and also belonged to the elite class of that era, but he didn’t care about money. We can say: Heraclitus is a very confident and arrogant man due to his remarks about Pythagoras, and Hesiod etc, and he often said about these type of people that they were the lack of learning and not highly qualified people. The people of his era often called him with the name of “The weeping philosopher” because he was the patient of depression and his writings were very emotional or dark.
Some Intellectuals say that He hated people of the world and have moved towards the mountains and started living there. Heraclitus also believed that the whole universe is made of one thing same like Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes; but that thing is fire not water, Apeiron, and air. His main subjects who he liked are Cosmology, Metaphysics, Politics, Ethics, and Epistemology.
Note: Heraclitus is also known as: “The Father of Dialectics”
Anaxagoras is a Pre-Socratic famous Greek Philosopher recognized as the teacher of Socrates. His birth date is 510 BCE and death date is 428 BCE. He was the man who is responsible for the transformation of philosophy into Athens. It will not wrong say that without Anaxagoras, the basic philosophical concepts never ever came towards Athens. According to him: There is everything in everything. His main Interests are revolving around natural philosophy.
7. Zeno of Elea
Zeno of Elea is known as a Pre-Socratic famous Greek philosopher. He was born in 490 BCE and died in 430 BCE. He was the student of Parmenides (another Pre-Socratic philosopher) and the master of paradoxes. He wanted to prove his teacher’s thinking right that there is no change or motion in the world. Some major lovers of wisdom like Aristotle considered Zeno as the Inventor of dialectics, but mainly he is recognized for his paradoxes. The main Interests of Zeno was metaphysics and ontology.
Socrates is known as a classical and great ancient Greek Philosopher of the fifth century. He was born in Athens in 470 BC and died in 399 BC. It will not wrong to say that he is was the person who became the main source of western philosophy. According to Socrates: Virtue is knowledge. In simple words, we can say: Socrates believed that seeking knowledge is the aim or goal of life and seeking knowledge is Itself a very good thing or virtue. He also believed; running towards wealth and popularity is wrong because both of these things are artificial or temporary and the original and real thing in life is running towards seeking knowledge. Socrates also thought about humans that no one does evils deliberately but he do it due to lack of knowledge and Ignorance takes a human towards bad things or evils. His main Interests are ethics and Epistemology.
Note: Socrates Sentenced to death through poison; because the people of Athens of his era thought that he is challenging their religion, culture, values, traditions and also misguiding the youth of Athens.
Plato is known as one of the most Influential and famous Greek philosophers in the history of philosophy. He was one of the brilliant students of Socrates. He was born at Athens in 427 BCE and died in 347 BCE. His real name was Aristocles; but he is mainly known by the name of Plato (Vast), because of his vast knowledge, and he was physically very strong and a wrestler at his young age. Plato started his own academy at Athens in 387 BCE with the name of a Greek Hero name Academus; at where he teaches philosophy, mathematics, music, logic, education, metaphysics, Rhetoric, justice, literature, epistemology, virtue, politics, art and militarism etc and even they played sports also. It will not wrong to say that Plato is the first philosopher of history who gave the holistic philosophy (complete system of philosophy). Here I would like to share some extraordinary philosophical quotes of Plato.
Some Best Philosophical Quotes of Plato:
- “Courage is knowing what not to fear”
- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something”
- “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge”
- “There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain”
Aristotle is also considered a great and most Influential ancient Greek philosopher. He was born at Stagira in 384 BCE and died in 322 BCE. He has been studying at Plato’s academy for almost twenty years under the guidance of Plato. After that, he established his own academy in 335 BCE with the name of Lyceum. It will not wrong to say that Aristotle was a man with most creative and extraordinary brain. You can Imagine his brilliance by this statement that he wrote almost one million words and nowadays we have remained only twenty percents of his words and these words covers almost all the major subjects like, Ethics, social sciences, political science, physics, zoology, biology, botany, ontology, epistemology and metaphysics, logic, mathematics, cosmology, medicine, astronomy, theology, psychology, rhetoric, theater, poetry and, arts etc.
Note: Alexander The Great was the student of Aristotle and remained his student for almost 2 to 3 years.
In conclusion, I would like to use praising words as closing remarks for these most famous Greek philosophers. They are those who are responsible for the miracles in today’s modern world, because they were the founders of Intellectual knowledge and they sowed the seed of science and Intellectual knowledge, so that’s why It will not wrong to say that due these philosophers (lovers of wisdom); we are enjoying luxurious life in 21st century.