The Pre-Socratics as a Dance of Personalities, Part 1

“I have discovered the greatest majesty which the Greeks are and were. The Path from Thales to Socrates is something incredible.” – Friedrich Nietzsche[1]

By Ryan Smith

celtypgreen (1)As the Pre-Socratics are the very first philosophers, a lot of people instinctively assume that they must also be primitive and crude in their thought. This is, however, far from the case: For more than two millennia, the Pre-Socratics have held unerring sway over philosophers and psychologists alike. Indeed, as the Nietzsche scholar Greg Whitlock would have it, the beauty of their theories, their simplicity and insight, is second to none.[2] But what interests us here is not just that these philosophers were bold and edgy thinkers in their own right: Equally interesting is the fact that each of the Pre-Socratic philosophers was a philosophical archetype of exceptional purity. ...

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