In this article, it is argued that, although there is significant debate over the nature of Anaxagoras' response to Parmenides, it is likely that Anaxagoras advances his physical theory in opposition to Parmenides' Numerical Monism. It is unlikely that Anaxagoras aims to develop a theory that harmonizes with the Predicational Monism that is sometimes ascribed to Parmenides. In addition, it is argued that, although some modern scholars suggest that Anaxagoras posits nous as a planning cause, no (...) compelling argument has yet been advanced against Plato's interpretation, according to which Anaxagoras is not a proponent of teleological explanation. (shrink)
In this article, both Anaxagoras' theory of multiple worlds and the principles of his theory of matter are examined. It is argued that the five principles, which are set out explicitly in the extant fragments, (No Becoming, Indefinite Types, Universal Mixture, Predominance, and Infinite Divisibility) form a consistent set. Further, it is argued that the principle of Homoeomereity, which Anaxagoras attributes to Anaxagoras, is consistent with Anaxagoras' other principles and is likely to be a genuine principle (...) of Anaxagoras' physics. (shrink)
Anaxagoras of Clazomenae (a major Greek city of Ionian Asia Minor), a Greek philosopher of the 5th century B.C.E. (born ca. 500–480), was the first of the Presocratic philosophers to live in Athens. He propounded a physical theory of “everything-in-everything,” and claimed that nous (intellect or mind) was the motive cause of the cosmos. He was the first to give a correct explanation of eclipses, and was both famous and notorious for his scientific theories, including the claims that the (...) sun is a mass of red-hot metal, that the moon is earthy, and that the stars are fiery stones. Anaxagoras maintained that the original state of the cosmos was a mixture of all its ingredients (the basic realities of his system). The ingredients are thoroughly mixed, so that no individual ingredient as such is evident, but the mixture is not entirely uniform or homogeneous. (shrink)
A meteor that fell in northern Greece in 467 BC was said to have been predicted by Anaxagoras. It seems rather that his theory entailed (“predicted”) the possibility of such bodies. The meteor provided a rare case of an observation confirming a theory. The subsequent recognition of the meteor shows that early philosophical theories could have testable consequences and that empirical evidence was being sought to evaluate theories at this early time.