While reading the Introduction of Presocratics a particular passage caught my interest on page 6. It states “although we call these early Greek thinkers “philosophers,” they would probably not have called themselves by that name.” I think this is said because these philosophers (Anaximander, Thales, Heraclitus, etc) had a broad range of interests. They studied mathematics, science, and engineering and didn’t necessarily consider philosophy as a separate area of study as we do today.
Philosophy is defined as the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline. A philosopher is a person who is engaged in philosophy. It is interesting that the people who were so engaged in the creation of life, logic, nature, etc. maybe didn’t consider themselves as philosophers. This label “philosopher” is a very open ended term. I understand why it would be hard to give yourself that label, because I think it is a word that can mean something different to every individual. In addition, I feel as if these individuals who we consider philosophers did not care about the label. They had a genuine love for knowledge and cared about finding answers to their questions. It wasn’t about the money or the title they received. This discussion in Presocratics made me question what philosophy truly is and how someone can be considered a philosopher. To me, a philosopher is someone who has a thirst and passion for knowledge. Someone who thrives to explain the unknown. Therefore, to me these people are philosophers.