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A list of key readings about Thales.
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There are no surviving writings of Thales. Our knowledge of Thales' life and thought comes to us in the form of commentaries by subsequent writers, principally Aristotle (with particular reference to his Metaphysics), who commented on all of his predecessors, including Thales. Some modern discussions are listed below.

Web links

Print literature


Diels-Kranz and Kirk-Raven-Schofield are the two standard editions of material related to the presocratic philosophers. Both editions contain the original Greek texts and translations (Diels-Kranz is translated into German; Kirk-Raven-Schofield is translated into English).

  • Diels, Hermann, and Walther Kranz. Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker. Weidmann, Berlin: 1934-37.
  • Kirk, G.S., Raven, J.E., and Schofield, M., The Presocratic Philosophers Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 1990.

Secondary Literature

  • Barnes, J., Early Greek Philosophy (London, 1987)
  • Copleston, F.C., History of Philosophy, Vol 1: Greece and Rome (Part 1 is a section on Pre-Socratic Philosophers)
  • Hussey E., The Presocratics
  • Long, A. A. (ed), The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy
  • Mourelatos, Alexander P. D. (ed), The Pre-Socratics: a Collection of Critical Essays (1993)
  • Anglin WS, Lambeck J. (1995) The Heritage of Thales. New York: Springer. ISBN 038794544X. | Google Books preview.
  • Aristotle. Metaphysics. Translated by W. D. Ross. Internet Classics Archive.
  • McKirahan RD. (1994) Philosophy before Socrates: an introduction with texts and commentary. Indianapolis: Hackett. ISBN 0872201767. | Google Books preview.
  • Williams HS. (2010) "A History of Science". Vol. 1. ISBN 9782819934189. A Borders eBook.