Wednesday, February 02, 2011

What early Greek philosophy was not like...

Extract from The Asia Minor Journal of Rational Natural Philosophy  vol. 2 (580 B.C.)

‘On Nature’

(University of Miletus)

Accepted June 580 B.C.

In this article I argue against the hypothesis of Professor Thales [1] that all things are ‘from water’. I first demonstrate that Thales’ claim fails to disambiguate between different possible understanding of ‘from’ and then advance a much more compelling thesis concerning the identity of the ultimate principle of all things based on rigorous rational argumentative grounds.

“... Further, in addition to the lack of any empirical data to ground his proposal beyond the vague gestures towards the importance of ‘moistness’, Thales’ article fails to address the obvious objection that since it is evident that the four elements transform one into the other there is no more reason to think of any one rather than the other as the principle of things [2]. Hence, the principle of things must be something prior to and foundational to all these four...”

[1] ‘On nature’, Journal of Non-mythological Speculation 1 (590 B.C.): 1-3. I understand that Professor Thales’ former research student, Dr Anaximenes, intends to publish a revision of this thesis that proposes ‘air’ instead as the primary principle of all things. This thesis is also wildly mistaken and my refutation of Thales will hold also for Anaximenes (forthcoming).

[2] Cf. my application of this same principle in ‘The stability of the Earth: an a priori argument in reply to Professor Thales’, forthcoming in Proceedings of the Milesian Cosmological Society 3: 15-23.


Platowe said...

But this ignores "On the nature of nature: a rebuttal" by Thales in the JNS 2 (560 B.C.E.; accepted 579 B.C.E.), wherein the author argues that such speculative "meta" analysis as offered by Prof. Anaximander on any aspect of the "phusis" to be explained results in accounts (such as "apeiron") that are bereft of standards of argumentative evaluation that might produce unique explanans. While this result does not necessarily support the "hudros" thesis, it shows that no account of a "meta-x" form can attain satisfactory status of an explanans for any given token of "phusis" in need of explanation.

James Warren said...

And here I thought that they all published in Forethought: The Journal
of Presocratic Studies


Hope all is well,

DEM said...

LOL... clever and funny, excellent!