Famous Ancient Greek Philosophers Facts
Ancient Greek Philosophers moved away from a mythological approach to explaining how the world works and instead focused on reason and evidence. Men such as Socrates,
Plato, and Aristotle created Philosophy as we now know it and have had a great influence on western civilization thought. Below you will find a list of many of the
most famous ancient Greek Philosophers along with some facts and information about each. This information is written in a style that hopefully both kids and adults will
Famous Ancient Greek Presocratic Philosophers
The first ancient Greek philosophers are called "Presocratics" due to the fact they lived before Socrates. From what we know Greek philosophical tradition began in the
6th century BC with the Presocratics. Unlike the most famous Greek Philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, who were from Athens; the Presocratics came
from the western and eastern regions of the Greek world. Below is a list of several of these early philosophers
- Thales of Miletus (approximately 640 BC) - is considered by many the father of Greek philosophy.
- Anaximander of Miletus (approximately 611 - 547 BC)
- Heraclitus of Ephesus (approximately 535 - 475 BC)
- Pythagoras of Samos
(approximately 582-504 BCE)
Facts about the Most Famous Ancient Greek Philosophers
- This famous Athenian, who was born around 470 BC, is one of the founders of Western philosophy.
- Since he left no books or other writings most of what we know about Socrates comes from the writings of his student; Plato.
- He is well known for his contribution to the branch of philosophy called ethics which deals with the concepts of what is right and wrong conduct.
- He developed what is now called the Socratic method (method of elenchus). This is a method of inquiry or problem solving that is based on a series of questions for
which answers must be found. This method stimulates critical thinking.
- In 399 BC he was brought up on charges of corrupting the youth and impiety which involved failing to acknowledge the gods which the Athenians believed in. He was found
guilty, sentenced to death, and forced to drink hemlock (poison).
- Plato was most likely born in Athens around 429 BC and died in approximately 348 BC.
- Plato was a student of Socrates.
- He established the Academy in Athens which was the western worlds first establishment for higher learning.
- ristotle who was another famous classical Greek philosopher was Plato's student.
- Plato wrote a Socratic dialogue named The Republic. This famous literary work focuses on justice at the individual level and at the city-state level.
- He was born in 384 BC and died in 322 BC.
- Aristotle was Plato's student. He attended Plato's Academy for nearly 20 years.
- He wrote about numerous subjects including logic, ethics, biology, physics, zoology, theater, and music. He made contributions to many of these fields.
- Aristotle tutored a young Alexander the Great who would later, on his many conquest, collect plants and animals for Aristotle.
- Aristotle founded a school named Lyceum that was located in Athens; there he taught students for approximately 12 years.