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Encyclopedia > Anaxagoras
Anaxagoras

Anaxagoras (Greek: Αναξαγόρας, c. 500 BC428 BC) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. He was a member of what is now often called the Ionian School of philosophy. Image File history File links Anaxagoras. ... Image File history File links Anaxagoras. ... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - 490s BC - 480s BC - 470s BC - 460s BC - 450s BC Events and Trends 509 BC - Foundation of the Roman Republic 508 BC - Office of pontifex maximus created... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 470s BC 460s BC 450s BC 440s BC 430s BC - 420s BC - 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC Years: 433 BC 432 BC 431 BC 430 BC 429 BC - 428 BC - 427 BC 426 BC... The Pre-Socratic philosophers were active before Socrates or contemporaneously, but expounding knowledge developed earlier. ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... The Ionian School (occasionally known as the Milesian School), a type of Greek philosophy centred in Miletus, Ionia in the 6th and 5th centuries B.C., is something of a misnomer. ...

Contents


Biography

He appears to have had some amount of property and prospects of political influence in his native town of Clazomenae in Asia Minor. However, he supposedly surrendered both of these out of a fear that they would hinder his search for knowledge. Although a Greek, he was probably a citizen of Persia and may have been a soldier of the Persian army when Clazomenae was suppressed during the Ionian Revolt. Clazomenae (modern Kelisinan), was an ancient town of Ionia and a member of the Ionian Dodecapolis (Confederation of Twelve Cities), on the Gulf of Smyrna, about 20 miles west of that city. ... Anatolia (Greek: ανατολη anatole, rising of the sun or East; compare Orient and Levant, by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana mother and dolu filled), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to... The Ionian Revolts were triggered by the actions of Aristagoras, the tyrant of the Ionian city of Miletus at the end of the 6th century BC and the beginning of the 5th century BC. They constituted the first major conflict between Greece and Persia. ...


In early manhood (c. 464-462 BC) he went to Athens, which was rapidly becoming the centre of Greek culture. There he is said to have remained for thirty years. Pericles learned to love and admire him, and the poet Euripides derived from him an enthusiasm for science and humanity. Some authorities assert that even Socrates was among his disciples. Athens (Greek: Αθήνα, Athína IPA: ) is the capital and largest city of Greece, and the birthplace of democracy. ... Pericles or Perikles (ca. ... A statue of Euripides Euripides (Greek: Ευριπίδης) (c. ... Socrates (Greek: Σωκράτης, invariably anglicized as , Sǒcratēs; 470–399 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher who is widely credited for laying the foundation for Western philosophy. ...


Anaxagoras brought philosophy and the spirit of scientific inquiry from Ionia to Athens. His observations of the celestial bodies led him to form new theories of the universal order. He attempted to give a scientific account of eclipses, meteors, rainbows and the sun, which he described as a mass of blazing metal, larger than the Peloponnese. The heavenly bodies, he asserted, were masses of stone torn from the earth and ignited by rapid rotation. However, these theories brought him into collision with the popular faith. Ionia (Greek Ιωνία; see also List of traditional Greek place names) was an ancient region of southwestern coastal Anatolia (now in Turkey) on the Aegean Sea. ... Athens (Greek: Αθήνα, Athína IPA: ) is the capital and largest city of Greece, and the birthplace of democracy. ... The French 1999 eclipse An eclipse (Greek verb: ekleipô, to vanish, though it derives from the prefix ex-, away from, and Greek leipein, to leave) is an astronomical event that occurs when one celestial object moves into the shadow of another. ... Photo of a burst of meteors with extended exposure time A meteor is the visible path of a meteoroid that enters the Earths (or another bodys) atmosphere, commonly called a shooting star or falling star. ... Full featured rainbow in Wrangell-St. ... The Sun is the star of our solar system. ... The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus (Greek: Πελοπόννησος Peloponnesos; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a large peninsula in southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth. ...


Anaxagoras was arrested by Pericles' political opponents on a charge of contravening the established dogmas of religion (some say the charge was one of Medism). It needed Pericles' power of persuasion to secure his release. Even so he was forced to retire from Athens to Lampsacus in Ionia (c. 434-433 BC) He died there in around the year 428 BC. Citizens of Lampsacus erected an altar to Mind and Truth in his memory, and observed the anniversary of his death for many years. Dogma (the plural is either dogmata or dogmas) is belief or doctrine held by a religion, ideology or any kind of organization to be authoritative and not to be disputed or doubted. ... Medism refers to having Persian sympathies or siding with Persia. ... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 470s BC 460s BC 450s BC 440s BC 430s BC - 420s BC - 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC Years: 433 BC 432 BC 431 BC 430 BC 429 BC - 428 BC - 427 BC 426 BC...


Anaxagoras wrote a book of philosophy, but only fragments of the first part of this have survived through the preservation of Simplicius of Cilicia in the 6th century AD. Simplicius, a native of Cilicia, a disciple of Ammonius and of Damascius, was one of the last of the Neoplatonists. ...


Cosmological theory

All things have existed from the beginning. But originally they existed in infinitesimally small fragments of themselves, endless in number and inextricably combined. All things existed in this mass, but in a confused and indistinguishable form. There were the seeds (spermata) or miniatures of corn and flesh and gold in the primitive mixture; but these parts, of like nature with their wholes (the omoiomere of Aristotle), had to be eliminated from the complex mass before they could receive a definite name and character. Mind arranged the segregation of like from unlike; panta chremata en omou eita nous elthon auta diekosmese. This peculiar thing, called Mind (Nous), was no less illimitable than the chaotic mass, but, unlike the logos of Heraclitus, it stood pure and independent (mounos ef eoutou), a thing of finer texture, alike in all its manifestations and everywhere the same. This subtle agent, possessed of all knowledge and power, is especially seen ruling in all the forms of life. Aristotle (Greek: , Aristotélēs) (384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ... Nous (Νους) is a Greek word (pronounced noose), that corresponds to the English words intelligence, intellect, or mind. ... The Greek word λόγος or logos is a word with various meanings. ... Heraclitus by Johannes Moreelse Heraclitus of Ephesus (Greek Herakleitos) (about 535 - 475 BC), known as The Obscure (Greek Ainiktin), was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Ephesus in Asia Minor. ...


Mind causes motion. It rotated the primitive mixture, starting in one corner or point, and gradually extended till it gave distinctness and reality to the aggregates of like parts, working something like a centrifuge, and eventually creating the known cosmos. But even after it had done its best, the original intermixture of things was not wholly overcome. No one thing in the world is ever abruptly separated, as by the blow of an axe, from the rest of things.


It is noteworthy that Aristotle accuses Anaxagoras of failing to differentiate between nous and psyche, while Socrates (Plato, Phaedo, 98 B) objects that his nous is merely a deus ex machina to which he refuses to attribute design and knowledge. For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... Deus ex machina is a Latin phrase that is used to describe an unexpected, artificial, or improbable character, device, or event introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a situation or untangle a plot (e. ...


Anaxagoras proceeded to give some account of the stages in the process from original chaos to present arrangements. The division into cold mist and warm ether first broke the spell of confusion. With increasing cold, the former gave rise to water, earth and stones. The seeds of life which continued floating in the air were carried down with the rains and produced vegetation. Animals, including man, sprang from the warm and moist clay. If these things be so, then the evidence of the senses must be held in slight esteem. We seem to see things coming into being and passing from it; but reflection tells us that decease and growth only mean a new aggregation (sugkrisis) and disruption (diakrisis). Thus Anaxagoras distrusted the senses, and gave the preference to the conclusions of reflection. Thus he maintained that there must be blackness as well as whiteness in snow; how otherwise could it be turned into dark water?


Anaxagoras marked a turning-point in the history of philosophy. With him speculation passes from the colonies of Greece to settle at Athens. By the theory of minute constituents of things, and his emphasis on mechanical processes in the formation of order, he paved the way for the atomic theory. However, his enunciation of the order that comes from an intelligent mind suggested the theory that nature is the work of design.


Theism and atheism

Anaxagoras, the first undoubted theist, among the philosophers, was perhaps the first that ever was accused of atheism.

David Hume, The Natural History of Religion, Chapter IV David Hume (April 26, 1711 – August 25, 1776)[1] was a Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian, as well as an important figure of Western philosophy and of the Scottish Enlightenment. ...

Hume claimed that the reason that Anaxagoras was accused of atheism was that he denied that stars, planets and other created objects were divine.

Pre-Socratic philosophers
Thales • Anaximander • Anaximenes of Miletus • Pythagoras • Philolaus • Archytas • Empedocles • Heraclitus • Parmenides • Zeno of Elea • Melissus of Samos • Xenophanes • Anaxagoras • Leucippus • Democritus • Protagoras • Gorgias • Prodicus  • Hippias • Pherecydes

The Pre-Socratic philosophers were active before Socrates or contemporaneously, but expounding knowledge developed earlier. ... Thales of Miletus (ca. ... Anaximander Anaximander (Greek: Αναξίμανδρος)(c. ... Anaximenes (in Greek: Άναξιμένης) of Miletus (585 BC - 525 BC) was a Greek philosopher from the latter half of the 6th century, probably a younger contemporary of Anaximander, whose pupil or friend he is said to have been. ... Pythagoras of Samos (approximately 582 BC–507 BC, Greek: Πυθαγόρας) was an Ionian (Greek) mathematician and philosopher, founder of the mystic, religious and scientific society called Pythagoreans. ... Philolaus (circa 480 BC – circa 405 BC) was a Greek mathematician and philosopher. ... Archytas Archytas (428 BC - 347 BC) was a Greek philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, strategist and commander-in-chief. ... Empedocles of Agrigentum Empedocles (Greek: Εμπεδοκλής, circa 490 BCE – c. ... Heraclitus by Johannes Moreelse Heraclitus of Ephesus (Greek Herakleitos) (about 535 - 475 BC), known as The Obscure (Greek Ainiktin), was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Ephesus in Asia Minor. ... Parmenides of Elea (early 5th century BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Hellenic city on the southern coast of Italy. ... Zeno of Elea (IPA:zÉ›noÊŠ, É›lɛɑː)(circa 490 BC? – circa 430 BC?) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher of southern Italy and a member of the Eleatic School founded by Parmenides. ... Melissus of Samos, Greek philosopher of the Eleatic School, was born probably not later than 470 BC. According to Diogenes Laërtius, ix. ... Xenophanes of Colophon (Greek: Ξενοφάνης, 570 BC-480 BC) was a Greek philosopher, poet, and social and religious critic. ... This article is about the philosopher. ... ‎ Democritus (Greek: Δημόκριτος) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher (born at Abdera in Thrace around 450 BC)[1]. Democritus was a student of Leucippus and co-originator of the belief that all matter is made up of various imperishable indivisible (or perhaps undivided) elements which he called atomos, from which we... Protagoras (in Greek Πρωταγόρας) was born around 481 BC in Abdera, Thrace in Ancient Greece. ... Gorgias (in Greek Γοργἰας, circa 483-376 BC) // Introduction Due to his ushering in of rhetorical innovations involving structure and ornamentation and his introduction of paradoxologia – the idea of paradoxical thought and paradoxical expression – Gorgias of Leontini has been labeled the ‘father of sophistry’ (Wardy 6). ... Prodicus of Ceos (Πρόδικος Pródikos, born c. ... Hippias can also refer to a son of Pisistratus and a tyrant of Athens. ... Pherecydes of Syros (in Greek: Φερεχύδης) was a Greek thinker from the island of Siros, Magna Graecia of the 6th century BC. Pherecydes authored the Heptamychia, one of the first attested prose works in Greek literature, which formed an important bridge between...

See also

The Anaxagoras crater on the Moon was named in his honour. Anaxagoras is a young lunar impact pole of the Moon. ... Moon is the current Good Article Collaboration of the week! Please help to improve this article to the highest of standards. ...


Notes

    References and further reading

    Books

    • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
    • Bakalis Nikolaos (2005) Handbook of Greek Philosophy: From Thales to the Stoics Analysis and Fragments, Trafford Publishing, ISBN 1-412-04843-5
    • Barnes J. (1982) The Presocratic Philosophers, Routledge Revised Edition
    • Burnet J. (2003) Early Greek Philosophy, Kessinger Publishing.
    • Guthrie W. K. (1979) A History of Greek Philosophy – The Presocratic tradition from Parmenides to Democritus, Cambridge University Press.
    • Kirk G. S., Raven J. E. and Schofield M. (1983) The Presocratic Philosophers, Cambridge University Press, Second edition

    Encyclopædia Britannica, the 11th edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

    External links


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