Thales’ Understanding of Politics and NatureJune 28, 2021
According to a story, Thales, by predicting the weather and the harvest, becomes rich by buying all the olive presses in Miletos and obtaining a good crop. Another version of the same story tells the people of Miletos that the purpose of buying the prints is not to get rich; It is to show that you can use your intelligence in every field.
Many anecdotes suggest that Thales was not a solitary thinker; He also stated that he was interested in politics. Although he was a unique guide on politics, he preferred to stay away from politics. According to Herodotus, Thales’ political life began with his advocacy of the union of the Ionians in the Aegean region in a federation and defending Anatolia against the Persians. When King Kroisos, who had taken many cities of the Ionians under his rule, started to get stronger, the war ended when the solar eclipse predicted by Thales in the sixth year of the war between the Lydians and the Medes. Thales started to study nature after this event, and founded the first Ionian school dealing with natural philosophy. Thales was the first to talk about nature and it will be of great importance especially for the thinkers after him.
Especially the Ancient Hellenic philosophers dealt with the problem of what is the basic substance of the world. Thales first grappled with questions for the sake of truth, not for practical benefits.