An Essay On Anaxagoras

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In order to better account for the full diversity of objects that populate our world, he posits an infinite number of Parmenidean Reals, called the homeomeric substances.His metaphysical claim that everything is in everything and his rejection of the possibility of coming to be or passing away are fundamental to all his other views.Because of his philosophical doctrines, Anaxagoras was condemned for impiety and exiled from Athens.Also included are new translations of the ancient testimonia concerning Anaxagoras' life and work, showing the importance of the philosopher and his ideas for his contemporaries and successors.This is a much-needed and highly anticipated examination of Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, one of the forerunners of Greek philosophical and scientific thought.In particular, he posits as the basic constituents of reality all substances without differentiated parts (homeomeric substances).A substance without differentiated parts is a substance that will remain the same substance no matter how small of large a piece of it you have.So, for instance, when a baby is born bald and then grows hair, that hair is not coming into being from not-being, rather what is happening is that formerly tiny, imperceptible hair parts mixed in with the scalp, are growing larger., intellect, was to have a key role in the explanation of things -- and of his subsequent disappointment when it turned out to be just another exposition of material causation untinged by teleology.Of that book a few fragments survive, mostly in the pages of the late antique Aristotelian commentator Simplicius.Otherwise we rely on testimonia: reports and summaries varying in trustworthiness by Plato, Aristotle, Theophrastus (who tells us most of what we know about Anaxagoras's theory of sense perception), and a variety of other Greek and Latin authors, once at least in Arabic translation.


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