GREEK PHILOSOPHY had its beginning in the seventh century B.C. As distinguished
from the theogony and cosmogony of the poets, its natural precursors, it was, in
its beginning, an attempt to explain the sensible world —its origin and
constitution— upon the basis of definite, natural fact, or what was regarded as
such, instead of supernatural existences, such as gods and goddesses. In this
attempt observation and reflection played the part played by imagination or
fancy in the earlier; science and speculation, crude and false, though, no
doubt, they in large measure were, took the place of mythology.