Greek philosophy

The Greek philosophy old was a system of thought that first developed in the sixth century BC and was based on the First Cause of the phenomena observable . Before Thales of Miletus developed it, the ancient Greeks thought that the world had been created by the gods . Thales, without denying the existence of the gods, suggested that the First Cause of existence was water , which did not cause any negative reaction, since water, as an agent of life that surrounded the earth, was already associated with the gods. by the Greek religion .

What is Greek philosophy?

The Greek philosophy or philosophy classic was kind of thinking that was created in ancient Greece between periods classical and Hellenistic in which he was given importance to the thought of such rational to solve the problems of nature .

  • What does it consist of
  • Characteristics of Greek philosophy
  • History
  • Stages of Greek philosophy
  • Main topics
  • Problems of Greek philosophy
  • Schools
  • Who is the father of Greek philosophy
  • Other representatives
  • Importance

What does it consist of

The Greek philosophy was a period that consisted of the use of the rational thinking to well solve a number of problems that were related to nature . It was based on the use of thought , reasoning and logos . It was a type of thinking that also consisted in the study of all the problems that were related to the human being where the ideas established by Socrates and the Sophists faced each other , a debate that opened the doors to the concepts of good and evil. .

Characteristics of Greek philosophy

The main characteristics of Greek philosophy were the following:

  • They focused on wisdom , studied and analyzed the world around them through logic and reason .
  • It was used to make sense of the world in a non-religious way .
  • The philosophy covered a variety of topics such as astronomy, mathematics, political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, ontology and aesthetics among others.
  • They established that the idea that knowledge comes from reason .
  • Philosophers pondered many different ideas, such as human nature , ethics, and moral dilemmas .
  • It had an important influence on the part of Socrates .


The history of Greek philosophy begins with the creation of the pre-Socratics who developed the first school of scientific and philosophical thinkers with the aim of being able to interpret the world in a rational way . In the 6th century BC, after the invasion by the Ionian peoples, philosophical thought managed to reach Sicily and Greece .

In the 5th century, one of the most important political and cultural centers was established in the city of Athens , where the sophist school began to develop . With Plato’s ideas , a complete system on ethical concepts was also created through the theory of knowledge and metaphysics . Later Stoicism emerged as the main Roman school and Epicureanism .

Stages of Greek philosophy

Greek philosophy developed in three different periods, which were:

Cosmological period

It was also known by the name of the pre-Socratic period and in it, the philosophers were known as cosmologicals because their main function was to question all the mysteries that surrounded nature and the cosmos . They used to explain what was happening in the world through myths and spanned the 6th and 5th centuries BC

Its main objective was to be able to find the fundamental and unique principle by which things were created and this was called arjé . This search was also carried out by focusing on logos or knowledge and in this way they formed rational thought.

Sophist and Socrates period

It took place during the middle of the classical period of Greece and in it important philosophers such as Socrates emerged. It was a time in which the perception of knowledge had to face great debates as nature took a back seat giving greater importance to the human being. They used rhetoric as a means of persuasion and thought that evil and justice were absolute .

Main topics

Some of the main themes that were discussed and established during the time of Greek philosophy were logic , sociology , ethics , politics, and anthropology . They focused on the study of nature and the role that some elements of it fulfill in the world. The man was also one of his most important subjects.

Problems of Greek philosophy

The main problem posed by Greek philosophy was based on the need to be able to study nature in depth to be able in this way to find a coherent explanation about the formation of the cosmos , the individual , the being and all the principles that had already been established with respect to philosophy. Another of their important problems was related to cosmology because they were looking for a way to determine what was the fundamental and basic material by means of which the world was created. The knowledgeit also represented a problem for Greek philosophy because for them knowledge was something that was impossible to obtain because nothing was permanent.


The main schools of Greek philosophy were the following:

  • Ionic School: founded by Thales of Miletus who was considered one of the Seven Sages and who showed greater interest in astronomical , meteorological and physical phenomena . He thought that natural phenomena were different forms of the fundamental substance, which he considered to be water.
  • Pythagorean school : created by Pythagoras of Samos. This was the most religious and mystical school and seeks to make a reconciliation between the ancient mythical worldview with scientific explanation . It was a school that managed to unite all the beliefs of an ethical, supernatural and also mathematical nature in a spiritual vision.
  • School of Heraclitus : he kept looking for the original substance and assured that this was fire . He was the one who managed to anticipate the theory that exists today about energy .
  • Eleatic School : it was founded by Parmenides and held that the universe or entity was a type of sphere that was characterized by being indivisible and immutable and that nothing had to be truly affirmed with the exception of “what is”.
  • Epicurean School : School of philosophers founded by Epicurus , which had influence in both Greece and Rome. Among its main philosophers are Epicurus, Philodemus, and Diogenes of Oenoanda.
  • Atomistic school : for them, all matter was made up of tiny and indivisible particles that could only be differentiated by their size, shape and weight.
  • Stoic School : The most influential philosophical school of the Hellenistic period that was founded by Zeno of Citius. His period is sometimes called ” Middle Stoicism .” In Rome, Stoicism is represented by Musonius Rufus, Seneca , Epictetus , Marcus Aurelius, and Hierocles.
  • Peripatetic school: founded by Aristotle and later headed by Theophrastus and Straton. It was the least influential in the Hellenistic period than Epicureanism.
  • Pyrrhonist School : School founded by Aenesidemus that functioned from the 1st century BC to 200 BC

Who is the father of Greek philosophy

It is considered that Socrates of Athens is the father of Greek philosophy for their great contributions and contributions to the philosophy that subsequently lay the foundation for Western philosophy.

Other representatives

In Greek philosophy there were many prominent philosophers considered as its representatives who had less relevance but did not stop being important, among them we find:

  • Sophocles (496 – 406 BC)
  • Diogenes of Sinope (404 – 323 BC)
  • Empedocles of Agrigento (495 – 444 BC)
  • Zeno of Citio
  • Pyrrho of Elis


Greek philosophy was and continues to be of great importance for humanity because thanks to it it was possible to observe reality in a very different way , thinking about the existence of an element within nature that had the ability to explain how life had been. created. Through philosophy, it was possible to replace those religious explanations that sought to explain how the universe worked by scientific theories .

Many of the Greek philosophers had and continue to have a very important influence on philosophy today . Important thoughts such as knowledge to make man wiser , logic , mathematics , justice , good and even beauty were themes that were developed in this type of philosophy.

In addition, many of the current sciences such as mathematics were perfected during this stage. Great discoveries in the field of astronomy were also made including the claim that the earth and the planets revolved around the sun. It was a science of great importance for humanity and for everything that surrounds us today.

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