Some Notes on early Greek Philosophers

The anti-Hindu Marxist and pseudo-secular Indian historians would have us believe that early astronomical and mathematical advances made by Hindu scientists was primarily on account of Greek influence. While it is true that Greek philosophers were at the fore-front of European development, it is by no means true that there was nothing called "Hindu Scientists" as the Marxist history text books in India would like us to believe.

In fact, for these anti-Hindu Marxist historians anything non-Hindu is the epitome of development and scientific advancement and progress - that includes:
a. the development of the common man's Buddhism as a reactionary evolution against the superstitious Brahmanical (Hindu) culture, 
b. the development of systematic theology, astronomy and mathematics with the advent of Greeks in India 
c. and the development of arts and culture with the advent of Islam. 

In fact in recent times, some have also questioned the roots of yoga and insist that it was a 19th century C.E construct based on European health techniques. Whatever.

However, the Greeks were undeniably among the front-runners of philosophical development in the European continent. Their scientific way of looking at things was a shift from the earlier European focus on religion (all this much before the advent of Christianity and its first 1,000 years of supreme superstition and bigotry).

Early Greek philosophy was closely tied to religion (~700 C.E to ~600 C.E).  One such theory of the origin of the workd was based on the "cosmic egg" theory. Most other theories were based on early European religious dogma and superstitions.

The first among the "scientific" Greek philosophers who comes to mind is Thales (~640 B.C.E)  who tried to show a clear distinction between religion and science (or physics as the ancient Greeks called it). Water he believed was the basis of life and life would perish without water, was his major surmise.
Anaximader (~610 B.C.E), his student theorized that water was not the sole building block of life, other elements were also involved. He developed an evolutionary construct called "apherion".

Empedocles (~490 B.C.E) identified the key elements as earth, water, fire and air  and is often referred to as the originator of the cosmogonist theory of four classical element. Human evolution was, he felt, a function of body temperature - while warmth spurred growth, lower body temperature brought about aging.

The focus during this phase was not only on the "how" but also the "why". The process of logic was slowly being manifested in their thought process. The realization that logical answers were possible to questions like "what is man" or "how does the world begin?" was a major breakthrough.

Then came Hippocrates with his focus on "methodology". But that's for another day.