If you’ve ever wondered, “Who were the 3 main philosophers?” you’re not alone. There’s an entire school of thought centered around them. In this article, you’ll discover the names of Democritus, Pythagoras, and Aristotle, along with the most famous ideas they contributed to the world. These men are known for their theories on ethics, metaphysics, and the origins of civilization.
Democritus is considered one of the three main philosophers of ancient Greece. He developed a powerful, consistent explanation of much of the world. In his work, he outlines the nature of human knowledge and reason. In the early days of philosophy, this philosophy was often regarded as too mystical for many people. However, this has changed over the years. Here are some of his main ideas.
The first idea that Democritus presented was the atom as the building blocks of matter. He believed that matter is made up of atoms that cannot be broken down into smaller particles. He argued that different kinds of matter were made up of different arrangements of atoms. He was able to explain these results with two experiments. Although his ideas are not quite as advanced as those of modern scientists, they are consistent with the concept of atoms.
Democritus was the first philosopher to be named in the Greek history. He was born in Thrace, a northern province of Greece. His birth is generally attributed to his early life in the 490 BCE, though some sources attribute it to Miletus, which is now part of modern-day Turkey. In his later years, he became famous as a writer of essays and other works on philosophy.
Democritus devoted much of his work to the study of perception and knowledge. He claimed that sensations are changes in atoms produced by other objects. The atoms in the soul are affected only when they come into contact with other objects. So, when we eat, for example, the taste of a sweet dish is a result of the round atoms that make it sweet. Similarly, the taste of a bitter food is due to its small atoms.
Democritus was a younger contemporary of Socrates. He was also a citizen of Abdera, though some sources indicate that he lived in Miletus. His closest associates were Leucippus and Anaxagoras. His enduring influence was so widespread that it influenced the development of the atomic theory of the universe. This ancient Greek philosopher lived at an advanced age, but the date of his birth is disputed. He composed at least seventy works and only a few hundred fragments have survived.
During his lifetime, Pythagoras spent his time studying the human soul, including the idea of transmigration. He believed that a person’s soul stayed with them throughout their lives and went through many reincarnations. He also was an expert on religious ritual and practices. He was also famous for having a gold thigh and was one of the founders of a strict way of life. His followers lived in communal houses and strictly adhered to dietary restrictions and religious rituals.
Although many scholars are uncertain about Pythagoras’ actual life, he is known to have been a renowned expert in the field of religion. Isocrates and Herodotus mention that Pythagoreans were in agreement with the Egyptians in practice of wool burial. Pythagoras’ philosophies are also often associated with the cults of the Orphics, who were devoted to preserving the tragic love of Orpheus by preaching a potpourri of science, mysticism, and monkish self-control.
The third philosopher was Hippasus. He developed a theory of the motion of bodies and the rotation of planets. Pythagoras also mapped out the solar system with a planet and sun. His work paved the way for modern science and philosophy. And although his work was largely forgotten, his ideas still reverberate today. There are countless examples of Pythagoras’ work in science.
Although Pythagoras was not famous for his right triangle theorem, his philosophy has had a profound influence on physics, mathematics, and the west’s liberal education. Both Aristotle and Plato were inspired by Pythagoras’ work. In addition to being one of the three main philosophers, Pythagoras lived on the island of Samos. His philosophies and theories have influenced many fields throughout history, from philosophy to politics to medicine.
Aristotle and Plato’s accounts of early Greek philosophers are often used by scholars to answer Pythagoras’ Pythagorean Question. While they both provide reliable, extensive evidence, and date to the third century CE, their accounts are problematic in parts. And it is worth mentioning that these two writers are generally in agreement on the Pythagorean Question. The Pythagoreans’ work is also discussed extensively by Aristotle in his Life.
Aristotle was one of the 3 major philosophers of ancient Greece. He studied human behavior and society in the context of government and politics. In his Politics, he examined how cities come into being and what role citizens and politicians play in government. He also discussed wealth, class structure, and the purpose of a political system. Aristotle is considered one of the founders of political philosophy.
Plato and Aristotle were students of Socrates, and they were both known as the first Greek philosophers. During their studies, they disagreed on an important aspect of Plato’s philosophy. In fact, they were at odds over the first-principle of metaphysics, which posited a higher realm of Forms where objective reality could exist on an earthly plane. While Aristotle built upon Plato’s theories and rejected the Theory of Forms, he never undermined the foundational philosophy of the three-pseutors.
While most scholars regard Aristotle’s “school” as the source of the Constitution of Athens, others believe his works were produced by his own students. It is believed that the Lyceum’s influence waned in favor of the rival Academy. As a result, Aristotle’s works were forgotten for several centuries. Historian Strabo claims that his works were stored in a damp cellar in Asia Minor for centuries. However, these works were only discovered in the first century B.C.
During his time in Athens, Aristotle became Plato’s prize student. Aristotle and his fellow students fought over his views on several topics. Aristotle stayed with a student who became a dictator in northern Asia Minor. He married the dictator’s daughter Pythias, but she died during childbirth. After Aristotle’s death, he married again and requested her burial beside him.
Aristotle’s ethical philosophy was similar to that of Plato, and he believed that moral action is based upon the moral agent’s agency. He argued that no rules could give right guidelines, but only appeal to consequences. This ethical view was largely ignored during the medieval period, when it was assumed that ethics was based on the existence of God. And this is not a good view of human behavior.
Although Socrates claims that his works were written by another person, Plato did not ascribe the ideas to him. In fact, he often changed the words in his works to avoid confusion for his readers. His dialogues include the Euthyphro, Laches, Euthydemus, and Theaetetus, among others. Socrates is often attributed to originating the idea of searching for definitions.
Socrates, another of the 3 main philosophers, was Plato’s student. He studied under Socrates, and then followed Socrates as a student until the latter died of hemlock poisoning. Eventually, Plato wrote the foundational works of the ancient philosophic world. Those works are so influential that the three main monotheistic religions owe their origins to Platonic philosophy. Aristotle followed Plato’s path and taught similar values to his teacher, but departed from Plato’s philosophy in the process.
The dialogues are essentially philosophical discussions and debates. They usually begin with a description of the setting. This allows the readers to get a clear picture of the social environment. Because the dialogues are not purely intellectual exchanges, they are often based on real historical figures. They make difficult statements. Despite these challenges, Plato’s works are still highly regarded today. This makes them so important to our understanding of the philosophy of the ancient world.
Plato was also one of the 3 most influential philosophers of all time. His dialogues deal with the quest for Truth and Good, and his main claim was that the world is a reflection of the higher realm of reality. In his opinion, this world of form is only a semblance of the real world. Therefore, human beings must be aware of the existence of a higher realm.
The dialogues by Plato aim to shake the reader out of complacency and to add to the construction of theory. They are best read by philosophers who have already moved past the first stage. However, many of the dialogues may be preparatory, or written later in the philosopher’s career. This gives readers a sense of philosophy being unfinished. This, too, makes Plato one of the 3 main philosophers.