From Chapter I., The Milesian School
Nor must we make too much of the saying that "all things are full of gods." It is not safe to regard an apophthegm as evidence, and the chances are that it belongs to Thales as one of the Seven Wise Men, rather than as founder of the Milesian school. Further, such sayings are, as a rule, anonymous to begin with, and are attributed now to one sage and now to another.44 On the other hand, it is probable that Thales did say the magnet and amber had souls. That is no apophthegm, but more on the level of the statement that the earth floats on the water. It is just the sort of thing we should expect Hekataios to record about Thales. It would be wrong, however, to draw any inference from it as to his view of the world; for to say the magnet and amber are alive is to imply, if anything, that other things are not.
40. Arist. De an. A, 5. 411 a 7 (R. P. 13).
41. Aet. i. 7, 11=Stob. i. 56 (R. P. 14). On the sources here referred to, see Note on Sources, §§ 11, 12.
42. Cicero, De nat. d. 1. 25 (R. P. 13 b). On Cicero's source, see Dox. pp. 125, 128. The Herculanean papyrus of Philodemos is defective at this point, but it is not likely that he anticipated Cicero's mistake.
43. See Introd. § IX.
44. Plato refers to the saying πάντα πλήρη θεῶν in Laws, 899 b 9 (R. P. 14 b), without mentioning Thales. That ascribed to Herakleitos in the De part. an. A, 5. 645 a 7 seems to be a mere variation on it. In any case it means only that nothing is more divine than anything else.
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