Philosophy is a purely Greek invention. The word philosophy means “the love of wisdom” in Greek. Ancient Greek philosophy was the attempt made by some ancient Greeks to make sense out of the world around them, and explain things in a non-religious way. These people, called philosophers, used their intelligence and reasoning skills instead of using myths to understand their world. Philosophy gained prominence in the 6th century BC with the advent of several important Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristolte, and others, and continued throughout the Hellenistic period when Alexander the Great spread the Greek ideals and culture in most of the known world of his time.
Acient Greek philosophers, such as Thales, Socrates, Anaxagoras, Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, and others, dealt with a wide variety of subjects, including political philosophy, rhetoric, logic, ethics, metaphysics, biology, aesthetics, and more. Most modern philosophers, historians, and scolars accept that Greek philosophy has been a major influence to the Western culture since its inception.
Philosopher Martin Litchfield West said that “Greek philosophers taught themselves to reason. Philosophy as we understand it is a Greek creation“.
Western philosophic tradition was so influenced by Socrates (as presented by his student Plato, and also by Xenophon) that it is conventional to refer to philosophy developed prior to Socrates as pre-Socratic philosophy. The periods of ancient Greek philosophy following the pre-Socratic philosophers and until the wars of Alexander the Great are called “classical Greek” and “Hellenistic” philosophy.