Ancient Greek Philosophers Quiz

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12 Questions

__________ comes from the water according to Thales.


Anaximander believed that all things originate from ________.


Anaximenes stated that the source of all things is ________.


According to Pythagoras, things are made of ________.


Heraclitus believed that ________ holds everything together.


Empedocles proposed that everything is a mixture of air, water, earth & ________.


_______ barked


_______ meowed


Mind – cause of all _______


Protagoras: Man is the measure of all _______


Plato believed that man is a dual nature of body and _______


Aristotle: Every substantial change has starting point and terminal _______


Study Notes

Ancient Greek Philosophers

  • Thales: Believed that everything comes from water, and that water is the basic substance of all physical reality, and that all life originated from water and returns to water when it dissolves.

  • Thales: Thought that moisture nourishes all things, generates heat, and keeps everything alive, and that the most difficult thing in life is to know oneself.

Anaximander and Anaximenes

  • Anaximander: Believed that all things originate from Apeiron, which is nature that is indeterminate or boundless, and that human beings originated from humid elements called spiny shell (fish).

  • Anaximenes: Thought that the source of all things is air, and that rarefaction of air becomes fire, while condensation of air becomes water and then earth.


  • Pythagoras: Believed that things are made of numbers, and that the body (matter) plus the soul (form) equals man, and that there is a transmigration of souls.


  • Heraclitus:Thought that fire is the substance that holds everything together, and that everything constantly changes, but nothing is ever lost in nature, and that God's universal reason is that there is nothing permanent except change.


  • Parmenides: Believed that being is one, and that there is no change, and that change is the confusion of appearance (motion) with reality (permanence), and that there are two paths that mortals can take: the path of truth and the path of error.


  • Empedocles: Thought that everything is a mixture of air, water, earth, and fire, which are primitive substances, and that there is a permanency of process, and that there are two forces: love, which binds things together, and strife, which separates things.


  • Anaxagoras: Believed that everything is found in seeds, which are miniscule particles that carry the blueprint of everything, and that mind is the cause of all things, and that it is the principle that gives matter its order.


  • Democritus: Thought that everything in nature was made of atoms, and that everything in nature is the product of the collision of atoms moving about in the void, and that atoms are tiny indivisible particles or units, and that cheerfulness is a state of the soul.


  • Protagoras: Believed that man is the measure of all things, and that everyone is always right, and that no one can ever be wrong, and that relativism is the truth according to one's knowledge and it is meaningful.

Socratic Philosophers

  • Socrates: Thought that knowledge is virtue, and ignorance is vice, and that every man is composed of body and soul, and that man's nature is determined by his soul, and that God is the supreme intelligence/mind of the world.

  • Socrates: Believed that "know thyself" and that "an unexamined life is not worth living."


  • Plato: Supported the idea of Socrates that man is a dual nature of body and soul, and that the soul is imprisoned inside the body, and that it can be freed through knowledge, and that God is the "demiurge" which is an intelligent God.

  • Plato: Identified 3 parts/components of the soul: 1) rational, 2) appetitive, and 3) spirited, and that "good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others."


  • Aristotle: Believed that every substantial change has a starting point and a terminal point, and that the existence of God as the 1st unmoved mover, and that everything that moves is moved by another.

  • Aristotle: Identified 3 kinds of the soul: 1) rational, 2) sensitive, and 3) vegetative, and that "knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."

Test your knowledge on Ancient Greek philosophers with focus on Thales and Anaximander. Explore their beliefs about the origin of life and matter, and their philosophical views on self-knowledge and nature.

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