Thales was the founder of the physicalist stream of philosophy which attempted to explain the world in materialist terms[1]. The foundation of this philosophy is described as arkhe or the basic principle of all things[2]. This principle has matter being the original source from which all things come and in which all things are made[3]. Matter, being composed of elements, is always preserved and, for Thales, the basic component of all matter is wáter[4]. Aristotle says that Thales drew his conclusión that wáter is arkhe from his observation of nature[5]. According to Aristotle, Thales argument would have been that all food contains moisture, therefore what nurtures and sustains all things must substantially be wáter[6]

The difficulty with this theory was that Thales had to justify how all things could come into being from water and ultimately return again…

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