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(6,572 words)

Author(s): Erler, Michael | Schönberger, Rolf | Puster, Rolf W. | Figal, Günter
[German Version] I. Antiquity 1. Western philosophy is usually held to begin with the Ionian philosophers of nature (Thales, Anaximander, Heraclitus, Natural philosophy), even if they described their activity less as philosophy than as “history.” The first to refer to himself specifically as a philosopher is said to have been Pythagoras, but this may have been a retrospective reference. The word ϕιλοσοϕεῖν/ philosopheín, “to philosophize,” occurs first in the 5th century bce. Initially, like sophia, it denoted a non-specific interest in a form of knowledge, or familia…