Greek philosophers before Socrates. The following are the pre-Socratic schools:
(1) the Milesians (Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes)
(2) the Pythagoreans (Pythagoras, Philolaus, Alcmaeon of Croton, and Archytas)
(3) the Ephesians (Heraclitus)
(4) the Eleatics (Xenophanes, Parmenides, and Zeno of Elea)
(5) the Pluralists (Empedocles and Anaxagoras)
(6) the Atomists (Leucippus and Democritus) and
(7) the Sophists (Protagoras, Hippias, and Gorgias)
1. Aristotle called them physici (from physis, nature) because they explained the world without recourse to the supernatural.
As opposed to the theologi, his term for thinkers who believed that the world was controlled by supernatural beings.
2. Click here to read Karl Popper's Back to the Pre-Socratics. Popper was one of the 20th Century's most influential philosophers of science, and he greatly admired Pre-Socratic thought.
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