The Influences of Rational Thought on Western Civilization

Topics: Philosophy, Mind, Western culture Pages: 3 (1014 words) Published: November 15, 2005
The Influences of Rational Thought on Western Civilization
The Greek's notion of rational thought is a very strong reason why Western Civilization has become so influential in the world today. During their time, the Greeks spurred an intellectual revolution. They questioned the meanings of life and began using their minds to expand the world. According to Glenn Blackburn: "In many ways, they "discovered" the human "mind" through their philosophy and rational thought [ . . . ]"(64). Their "opening" of the mind influenced all ways of life and society. Major ideas blossomed like politics, governing laws, literature, art, history, and new inventions. Scientific thinking was groundbreaking among Greek minds. Ideas of mathematics, astronomy, architecture, and anatomy engrossed the public. This revolution of rational thought dominated society and began a transition in Western Civilization because people began using reason to explain human and natural events, rather than the gods (Blackburn, 67). Even today, rational thought is used by all of us and continues to influence society. The power of the modern mind has proved greater than any other Greek could have ever expected.

The creation of rational thought began in the Greek city of Ionia. The citizens there were open to new ideas and influenced by traders from around the world. Laws were invented by these Ionians and written down to express the will of their society. The greatest and most recognized Ionian thinker was a man named Thales of Miletues. Considered one of the seven ""wises men" of the day, Thales contemplated water and its connection with the universe. Blackburn remarks that Thales ideas: "mark[ed] an important change in western scientific thought" (68). Thales also used I statements when he philosophized marking for the first time in history a human used reason and the rational mind. Other philosophers surfaced in Ionia during this period creating the study of the "cosmos," or...
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