Tag Archives: Anaxagoras

Anaxagoras: Introduction
We chosed to dedicate one booklet to Anaxagoras, from his role in “bringing” philosopy to Athen, his intuition about arising and separation of aggregates, and for giving a scientific account of natural phenomen. Also, for his theory about the flateness of the earth. That shows that every person who choses to be great, is also a part of the context where she/he lives; we should admire innovators, but also remember to think with our own mind. It is never a matter of accepting totally, or rejecting everthing, what one wise person says; it is about listening, readind, and making our educated opinion about what is said and shown.

Anaxagoras: Biography
Anaxagoras was a Pre-Socratic (or, rather, pre-platonic) Greek philosopher. Born in Clazomenae in Asia Minor, Anaxagoras was the first philosopher to bring philosophy from Ionia to Athens. He attempted to give a scientific account of eclipses, meteors, rainbows, and the sun, which he described as a fiery mass larger than the Peloponnese. He was accused of contravening the established religion and was forced to flee to Lampsacus.

Anaxagoras is famous for introducing the cosmological concept of Nous (mind), as an ordering force. He regarded material substance as an infinite multitude of imperishable primary elements, referring what is usually generation and disappearance to mixture and separation respectively. Anaxagoras wrote a book of philosophy, but only fragments of the first part of this have survived, through preservation in work of Simplicius of Cilicia in the sixth century AD.

Anaxagoras was arrested by Pericles’ political opponents on a charge of contravening the established religion, or for simpatizing with the Persians. It took Pericles’ power of persuasion to secure his release. Even so he was forced to retire from Athens to Lampsacus in Troad  (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.

Anaxagoras: Quotes
Appearances are a glimpse of the unseen.

Everything has a natural explanation. The moon is not a god, but a great rock, and the sun a hot rock.

It is not I who have lost the Athenians, but the Athenians who have lost me.

Men would live exceedingly quiet if these two words, mine and thine, were taken away.

The descent to Hades is the same from every place.

Anaxagoras: a controversial enquiring mind
From Answers.com: “Anaxagoras did not believe that the sun and moon were divinities, as the Greeks did, and he was prosecuted for his teachings. He returned to Asia Minor to a town allied with Athens, Lampsacus (now Lapseki, Turkey). Here he was treated with respect, and his memory was still honored a century after his death”.

“The most spectacular was his discovery that the moon does not shine by its own light”.

“Anaxagoras believed that the earth was flat and floated on air, but he understood that the heavenly bodies rotated”.

Special thanks to Wikipedia, which provided the backbone of the main content of this booklet, and allows to distribute it under a Creative Common licence.