From Aristotle we learn (I) that Thales found in water the origin of things; (2) that he conceived the earth to float upon a sea of the elemental fluid; (3) that he supposed all things to be full of gods; (4) that in virtue of the attraction exercised by the magnet he attributed to it a soul.
So, with his own hands he carried the golden tripod to the little house where Thales lived.
As to the astronomical knowledge of Thales we have the following notices: - (1) besides the prediction of the solar eclipse, Eudemus attributes to him the discovery that the circuit of the sun between the solstices is not always uniform; 6 (2) he called the last day of the month the thirtieth (Diog.
Aristotle's suggestion that Thales was led to his fundamental dogma by observation of the part which moisture plays in the production and the maintenance of life, and Simplicius's, that the impressibility and the binding power of water were perhaps also in his thoughts, are by admission purely conjectural..
Allman, Greek Geometry from Thales to Euclid (1889); Florian Cajori, History of Mathematics (New York, 1894); M.
Thus, meagre and futile as the doctrine of Thales was, all the Greek schools, with the solitary exception of that of Pythagoras, took their origin from it.
The doctrine of Anaximenes, who unites the conceptions of a determinate and indeterminate original substance adopted by Thales and Anaximander in the hypothesis of a primordial and all-generating air, is a clear advance on these theories, inasmuch as it introduces the scientific idea of condensation and rarefaction as the great generating or transforming agencies.
The following discoveries in geometry are attributed to Thales (I) the circle is bisected by its diameter (Procl.
Thus Thales recognized change, but was not careful to explain it; Anaximander attributed to change two directions; Anaximenes conceived the two sorts of change as rarefaction and condensation; Heraclitus, perceiving that, if, as his predecessors had tacitly assumed, change was occasional, the interference of a moving cause was necessary, made change perpetual.
One of the most distinguished among them was Thales of Miletus (6 4 o -543 B.C.), the founder of the Ionian school of philosophy, whose pupil, Anaximander (611-546 B.C.) is credited by Eratosthenes with having designed the first map of the world.