Robert Hahn releases book | Philosophy | SIU

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Robert Hahn releases book on Pythagorean Theorem

Robert Hahn, professor of philosophy and director of the university’s Ancient Legacies program—traveling seminars to Greece, Turkey and Egypt—has a new book out on Thales, who Aristotle called the first philosopher.

From SUNY press: “Thales . . . posited the principle of a unity from which all things come, and back into which they return upon dissolution. He held that all appearances are only alterations of this basic unity and there can be no change in the cosmos. Such an account requires some fundamental geometric figure out of which appearances are structured. Robert Hahn argues that Thales came to the conclusion that it was the right triangle: by recombination and repackaging, all alterations can be explained from that figure.

This idea is central to what the discovery of the Pythagorean theorem could have meant to Thales and Pythagoras in the sixth century BCE. With more than two hundred illustrations and figures, Hahn provides a series of geometric proofs for this lost narrative, tracing it from Thales to Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans who followed, and then finally to Plato’s Timaeus.”

Interested? Read the first chapter!