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Episode 1 – Ionian Pre-Socratic Philosophy

Hey guys! Today was the first of a two part synopsis of Pre-Socratic Western Philosophy. Today we focused on the Ionian, or Greek, style of thinking. But before we got into that, we talked about the terrible adversity that faced the early human colonizers of the world. I can’t imagine being one of these people. I never would’ve had the courage to just march into the unknown wilderness, just HOPING that greener pastures were over the next sand dune. But I guess it’s not that hard to find greener pastures when you’re right in the middle of the desert. =].

Here’s a map of the migratory paths the early humans took. You can definitely see how they reached an obvious fork in the road right around the fertile crescent. Which direction would you have gone? lol

Hmm...what do you do if NEITHER road is less traveled?
Hmm… what do you do if NEITHER road is less traveled?
Well, I guess zombie husbandry would've worked too...
Well, I guess zombie husbandry would’ve worked too…

The early humans were actually a lot like Rick and his ever-fledgling group of friends in the show “The Walking Dead”. They have no permanent home, they have no idea where their next meal is going to come from and much like the animal predators the early humans dealt with, zombies are always a constant threat. But soon they decided to group together and use their teamwork and numbers against the existential threats, much like the inhabitants of Woodbury do in the show.

Thales, just try to not accept this rose...
Thales, just try to not accept this rose…

The first guy we talked about was Thales. Handsome, brilliant guy. What do you think? Could he be the bachelor? The next guy we talked about was Heraclitus, the meanest and most antisocial guy ever to bury himself up to his neck in cow manure and lay in the sun. True story… He was the first person to recognize that some things that we perceive to be permanent and unchanging can actually be full of change.

Wow Heraclitus…you WOULD have the emo painting of you WRINGING YOUR HANDS over the globe…
Wow Heraclitus… you WOULD have the emo painting of you WRINGING YOUR HANDS over the globe…
He's known as "the laughing philosopher" because he got the last laugh with his theory of atomism...
Democritus is known as “the laughing philosopher” because he got the last laugh with his theory of atomism…

Then we talked about Democritus, he and his teacher Leucippus came up with what is no doubt the crowning acheivement of all Pre-Socratic thought. The theory of atomism. But atomism was, by no means, an instant success. Yeah these early thinkers ended up being wrong about everything they had to say, but the only reason we don’t believe what they did is because we have the luxury of going to the library and reading about them suggesting it thousands of years before.

So Philosophize This!, What do you take to be absolutely true that one day may prove to be completely false? Answer in the comments below. 

For the full story of all of these great thinkers, download the Philosophize This! podcast:

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See the full transcript of this episode here.

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