Western philosophy arose in ancient Greece in the sixth century BC and can say that philosophy emerges as a kind of break with the mythical worldview. While the myths were organized in stories, pictures and particular beings, philosophy inaugurated argumentative, abstract and universal discourse. Moreover, unlike the authors of myths, the Greek philosophers tried to develop worldviews that were free of logical contradictions and imperfections.
The early Greek philosophers, often called pre-Socratic, devoted to speculations on the constitution and origin of the world. Thales of Miletus was the first thinker who can call philosopher. Like other pre-Socratic philosophers, Thales was dedicated to characterize the principle or matter that the world is made. Argued that this principle was water.
After the pre-Socratic already in the classical period, philosophy was linked to a privileged historical moment - that of classical Greece. During this period, comprising the 5 centuries BC and 4 centuries BC, Greek civilization met its apogee with the splendor of the city of Athens. This city-state dominated Greece with its military and economic power and adopting democracy as a political system, Athens witnessed a remarkable flourishing of the arts and sciences. It was this historical period that gave rise to the thought of the three greatest philosophers of antiquity: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
Socrates did not leave a written work, but know his thinking through the works of his disciple Plato. This did not write a systematic work, organized logically and abstractly, but rather a rich array of texts in dialogue form, in which different topics are discussed. Plato's dialogues are organized around the central figure of his master - that Socrates was sentenced to death in Athens in the year 399 BC.
After the death of Socrates in 387 BC, Plato founded the Academy in Athens, the first university in the world that would be closed in 529 AD by Emperor Justinian which serves as a landmark for the end of the Greco- Roman era.
Already Aristotle founds the Lyceum in Athens, a rival school of Plato's Academy in the year 335 BC Aristotle unlike Plato created a systematic and orderly work. The Aristotelian philosophy covers various fields of knowledge, such as logic, rhetoric, poetry, metaphysics, and the various sciences.
In the transition from the fourth century to the third century BC, during the Hellenistic period, formed two philosophical schools whose teachings represent a clear shift of emphasis in relation to Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Peripatetic school. His concern is mainly personal redemption. Both Epicurus and his followers as to Zeno of Citium and other main stoics aim of philosophy should be to obtain the serenity of mind. The two schools also resemble the belief that this goal involves a sort of harmony between the individual and nature, but differ as to how to accomplish this harmonization.
The initial period of philosophy is classified as Ancient Philosophy and extending to the decadence of the Roman Empire in the fifth century AD ushering in Medieval Philosophy.