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Pre Socratic Philosophy Essay

1457 words - 6 pages

Pre-Socratic Philosophy

It is important to be able to distinguish scientific, philosophical, religious, and speculative explanations and causes apart from each other. To be able to discern the four apart we need to first understand what they are and what their purpose is.
The first type of pre-Socratic thought of explanation is scientific, though the pre-Socratic did not begin thinking scientifically till much later in their quest for truth, due to pre-Socratics often not using their senses; as in observation. For an explanation to be scientific a person has to draw their conclusions from observation and being able to test it to be proven true or not true. Philosophical explanation is ...view middle of the document...

To summarize the difference between these two claims is religious explanation originates from information being based down in history about a higher being, and speculative originates from a person’s personal intuition based off their on-look of what is before them.

The way a person can better understand each explanation of scientific, philosophical, religious, and speculative it is best to know an example of them, from their point of view and ours (modern society).
A popular example of scientific explanations in the days of the pre-Socratics was Thales idea of “All things are composed of water.” This is a very logical explanation drawn from observation; since all living things need water to survive. Even air has a certain percentage of water; which can be observed on a humid or foggy day when the water in the air is denser. An example of our modern day idea of a scientific explanation is the law of gravity, the law that states everything that is sent into the air will return back down to earth. This conclusion is drawn from observation and experimentation.
Probably one of the most popular philosophical claim comes from Heraclitus, saying “You can’t step into same river twice.” Heraclitus claim was drawn from his reason that the characteristics of a river is always changing for example, fish, rocks, and even the water itself is in a constant state of change; therefore with that reasoning, which is not backed up by any scientific observation, Heraclitus made his claim. A modern day philosophical claim would be “Abortion is wrong.” Since a fetus has the ability to be a human; therefore should be treated like one, and have the right to live. This is a claim based off of moral thinking which science cannot provide answers for.
A great example of religious explanation is Thales quote of saying “All things are full of gods.” By this Thales deducts since the gods create and all things, that the gods must also be in all things which are made. Notice how no observation takes place in his claim due to not being able to witness these “gods” what all things are made. A modern day explanation of religious explanation is the claim of God creating the universe. The idea originates from the point of thinking “At one point something had to come from nothing.” And this starting point is known as the work of God. Since the reasoning here is being explained by a higher being which cannot be observed it is a religious explanation.
Anaximander explanation of evolution was works of completely speculative and pretty ridiculous claim to modern day thinkers. Anaximander’s claim was that “Early humans developed from the bodies of fishes.” He came to this conclusion from his idea that early babies from earlier times would have not been able to survive in the worlds harsh conditions; therefore had to be protected inside of wish into adulthood when they could survive on their own. A speculative reason of modern times would be among the lines of “Blue is a peaceful color....

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