Lecture: "Thales and the beginning of Greek philosophy"


Professor Glenn Most
Professor of Greek Philology,
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy (retired)
The Committee on Social Thought,
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

14 November 2022, 18:00 

Professor Glenn Most is ​a 2022/2023 Sackler Fellow of the Mortimer and Raymond Sackler Institute of Advanced Studies.



The one thing that everyone knows about Thales is that he founded Greek philosophy by saying that everything comes from water. But can we be sure about this? What does it mean to found philosophy in general, and Greek philosophy in particular? And what do we know, or think we can know, about Thales? Reexamining afresh the ancient reports about Thales and the first book of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, in which it was first claimed that Thales founded a certain kind of Greek philosophy, suggests that matters are in fact more complicated and more interesting.


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