While reading the introduction to A Presocratics Reader, many lines stood out to me. Specifically, the end of the second paragraph (the section which is at the top of the second page) had me thinking more about what makes philosophy, philosophy.
When I think of philosophers- and, truly, I believe when most people think of philosophers- I picture a bunch of adults sitting together all discussing humanity and all having studied the same things when they were in school. However, this introduction made me rethink what makes a philosopher, a philosopher. This section points out that which marked Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes the first philosophers of history was not that they studied the same things, but that they “shared an outlook that truly marks the beginning of philosophical inquiry”. It was understood that each of these men studied a different aspect of the world (astronomy, meterology, humanity and more) but that didn’t make them different from eachother. These men are able to be classified as philosophers because they all employed the same methods: “willingness to speculate and give reasons based on evidence . . . a commitment to the view that the natural world can be explained”.
This introduction pointed out to me that what makes a philosopher a philosopher is how they think and how they viewed the world. It doesn’t matter to what one applies this point of view/methodology. It only matters that one understands the vitality of questioning, the importance of proving your argument, and the concept that all of our world can be explained.