Talk:Ionian School (philosophy)

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I am starting to expand this page, by pasting in one paragraph per philosopher. Ordering of these philosophers, and dealing with duplication of facts will be dealt with soon. WhiteC 22:52, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

I need to figure out how much to separate presocratic cosmologists from Ionian School. Some important cosmologists did not study in Ionia at all, and many were Eleatics--ie: came from Elea in Sicily. Empedocles, for example, was not an Ionian, but affected the later cosmology of Anaxagoras who was. Yeeuk! I suppose I should put dates in here, and start ordering things now, so it is more evident who came first.

I should also put in links to important presocratic cosmologists who did not come from Ionia, but influenced later Ionians, but I don't think I should include them as members of the Ionian school.

In addition, maxny of the pages for these individual philosophers need work. Some pages do not exist at all, and some refer only to non-philosophers with the same names as the philosophers.

Any help would be appreciated, particularly with the articles on individual philosophers. WhiteC 01:14, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

TO DO list[edit]

Ok, feel free to add things, or make comments if you disagree, or can help at all...

  • The following individual philosophers' articles need work:
    • Hippon of Samos needs an article. Making a stub would be a good start.
  • Precisely define who is included in the Ionian School and why. It seems to be just people who worked in Ionia or came from Ionia (judging from the list in the original paragraph from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannia artcile), but this should be checked for all philosophers on the list. (I had added several cosmologists to this list, but this was probably a mistake, I'll list questionables below here)
    • For each individual philosopher listed, briefly give link to Ionia: Why should this philosopher be considered part of the Ionian school (born, studied, heavily influenced by, etc)?
    • Empedocles might not even belong on this list, unless I can find the link to Ionia.
    • Diogenes Laertus same thing, even though he was on the 1911 list. Perhaps just influence for him?
  • Figure out how to deal with cosmology as the main thread linking these philosophers, but to include info about non-Ionian cosmologists.
    • For each Ionian philosopher, mention bio, cosmology, and finally other philosophical thougths. Give each one paragraph.
    • For non-Ionian philosophers, mention only dates, areas/schools they were part of, cosmology, and which Ionian philosophers they influenced. Hopefully, they can have shorter paragraphs than the Ionians :-)
  • Make this a category, and include it as a subcategory under presocratic philosophy.
    • Add the category to relevant philosophers' articles

Well, that is the list as of now... WhiteC 01:45, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Three very similar articles?[edit]

It just seems to me that having the three articles on the Ionian School, the Ionian Enlightenment, and the Milesian School seems a little superfluous, especially considering the fact that much of the content of the three articles read like quick rehashes of one another. Maybe this issue is one which is slightly more significant to the other two articles, but it would seem to me that either a merger of some or all of the articles or a major reworking to clarify/refine the articles so as to better address the distinct aspects of the three areas of the topic is in order. What does anyone else think?

Point about Archelaus[edit]

The page notes that there is no information about Archelaus in the article for that name. I checked in Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy and he is not mentioned in there either. King Archelaus is mentioned however. Also, a philosopher named Arcesilaus is mentioned: he was head of the Athenian Academy at one point and died as an old man in the year 240BC. Arcesilaus could perhaps be mistaken for Archelaus.

Here is a link to a page I found when searching for Archelaus [1] . I am reading a book "Penguin Classics: Early Greek Philosophy" by Jonathan Barnes at the moment which includes a small bit on Archelaus. He was supposedly one of Socrates' teachers and a follower of Anaxagoras, so that would put him in the 500s BC, although I can't find any exact dates. He is a bit obscure, but thanks for your help. I will get back to this page when I finish the book in a week or 2. WhiteC 08:06, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Physicalists, Materialists and Whatnot[edit]

Eek! How can these ancients have been physicalists when physics was not invented yet? Aristotle came out with the first physics, and it wasn't atomism. The idea of bodies belongs to him. He was post-Socratic.

But, there seems to be a confusion of physicalism and materialism. There is an article on each but they claim to be each other! The physicalists ought to get married to the materialists, but that isn't our task in this article. You see, none of the pre-socratics are materialists, either. It takes a modern to be that, a modern who can assert chance and physical law. Those concepts are foreign to the ancients, which gets to another point.

What do you mean, physiologists? Where does that come from? Aristotle conducted the first known scientific observations in the field. He used them in his biological works. The others like to theorize about cosmology, but not based on any observations, more than anyone else.

Which causes me to wind up the first point. All the pre-socratics believed in spirit and deity. Materialists do not do that. Some of the Pre-socratics theorized about matter and we choose to emphasize that, but because we do that and many of us are materialists, it does not make them so.

And about the "schools." There is no Ionian school. (There is a Milesian School) However, some scholars for convenience lump people from the same place together. One such are Kirk and Raven, authors of a text, "The Presocratic Philosophers." So, if they have done it, so can we. But, let's go on and use the full convenient classification, let's not just plug people in at random.

I think you deserve a medal for taking this on all by yourself. This is mental heroism. I will be making some small changes here and there by way of suggestion. If you don't like anything, by all means alter it or revert it.Botteville 04:05, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Originally I wanted to call these guys cosmologists, rather than physicalists or materialists. I am trying to emphasize that they concentrated on metaphysics (and physics) explaining the world (cosmos) by abstract reason, and not on ethics, logic or any other branches of philosophy. Some of these other terms (materialist, physicalist) may have crept into the article from bits I copied in from articles on other philosophers.
Well, the 'Ionian school' (it seems to me) is just a lumping-together of those philosophers who had links to Ionia. This article and title originally came from the 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica.
My 'taking this all on' is mostly a process of learning pre-socratic philosophy. I have just finished reading Early Greek Philosophy, ed Jonathan Barnes (2nd ed 2001), which is pretty good--it claims to have all the original pre-socratic sources, which actually isn't that much really (the book is less than 300 pages long). WhiteC 00:38, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

WAIT a MINute![edit]

I just got out all my old texts on Pre-socratic philosopy, and wouldn't you know it, only one refers to anything Ionian, and he calls it the Ionian Thinkers. I have De Vogel, Zeller, Nahm, Windelband, Kirk&Raven, Burnet and Freeman. Moreover, we have members of other schools included in "Ionian School" just because they are Ionian. I changed my mind, that doesn't seem right to me. I'm going to make a proposed organization under Pre-Socratic. Then I suggest you move this article to the other schools and don't even talk about an Ionian school at all. So, I am not going to touch the stuff about materialsm for now, but I hope to see this article disappear and with it all the phony stuff about the Pre-socratics being physicalists and the fake Ionian school.Botteville 04:47, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Blame the old 1911 Britannica article if you want (see my comments above)--if you look at this article's history, you'll see that is what it was to start with. I think you are probably right, but there should be a reference somewhere to the fact that this is sometimes called an Ionian school.
Originally, I wanted to write an article about cosmology in philosophy--mostly pre-socratic philosophy. Copleston uses the term 'cosmology' to describe the Milesians in ch2 of the 1st volume of his 'a history of philosophy'. Perhaps I got distracted by all this Ionian School stuff and should re-name this article, and forget about the Ionian School end of it.
Anyway, let me know after you have got your pre-socratic organization done and before you delete this. Thanks for your insightful comments! WhiteC 00:54, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Deletion of Article?[edit]

I think this article should be deleted (see argument above). Perhaps a case could be made for keeping the first paragraph, and strengthening the second paragraph which refers to the Milesian School--which actually WAS a philosophical school. Anyway, if there are any disagreements here, let me know before I nominate for deletion. WhiteC 02:18, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Old AFD[edit]

Articles for deletion This article was previously considered for deletion.
An archived record of the discussion can be found here.

Titoxd(?!?) 02:53, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Milesian school[edit]

Shouldn't be these two articles merged? (Milesian school) They deal with the same theme (at least at the first sight). Petr K 17:37, 12 October 2006 (UTC)