Beginning of Philosophy
Philosophy has no single beginning, but it would be naive to assume philosophical thinking erupted spontaneously in various spots around the world.
Exchange of Ideas
- Caravans across Asia.
- Extensive trade around the Mediterranean, up and down the Nile, and throughout the Middle East.
- Early Hebrews were nomads.
- India was a crossroads for many different cultures.
- Egypt was a source of ideas that later became the basis for Greek philosophy.
In addition, there were great civilizations south of the Mediterranean, not only in Egypt, but in Nubia (now Ethiopia) and further up the Nile. These cultures had sophisticated systems systems of astronomy, advanced mathematics, complex and thoughtful views of the nature of the soul, and an obsession with the question of life after death.
Many of the leading ideas of Greek philosophy (which arose in 6th century BC), including interests in geometry and the concept of the soul were imported imported from elsewhere. Indeed, it might be most accurate to see the great “miracle” of ancient Greece not as a remarkable beginning, but as a culmination – the climax of a long story the beginnings of which we no longer remember.
A Passion for Wisdom: A Very Brief History of Philosophy
Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins