These are the most famous reflections of the Greek philosopher who proposed the “arché”.
Anaximander of Miletus (610 BC – 545 BC) was a philosopher and geographer of special importance in Hellenic thought.
Like his teacher Thales, Anaximander was born in the city of Miletus, and shared teachings and reflections with Anaximenes, who was his disciple. Anaximander’s main contribution refers to the arché , the beginning of all things.
Famous phrases of Anaximander
Only one of his works transcended, the interesting On Nature , a book that was lost but whose teachings were recovered through doxographic comments by later scholars. His works in astronomy and geography had a special significance, being the first human being to measure the solstices and equinoxes, in addition to being a pioneer in affirming that the Earth is cylindrical, although he erred in assuring that it occupied a central position in the universe.
In today’s article we are going to collect the best phrases of Anaximander, to understand a little better the thought and ideas of this outstanding Greek philosopher.
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1. Water is the arché (principle) of the universe.
Certainly without water there is no life. It is another thing to think that it is an essential element for matter itself, but Anaximander affirmed it.
2. Nature is eternal and does not age.
One of those phrases of Anaximander in which he reinforces his theory of immutable matter.
3. All beings are derived from other older beings by successive transformations.
A first stone towards the understanding of human evolution.
4. Things are full of Gods.
On the omnipotence of the divine being.
4. There are many worlds and many universe systems that all exist at the same time, all of them perishable.
His astronomical vision had a great repercussion and follow-up in his time.
5. The indefinite is unbegotten and incorruptible, since what begins necessarily has an end; and all corruption has a term.
His philosophy of matter had this fundamental premise.
6. The unlimited has no beginning because, in such a case, it would be limited.
A truism that synthesizes various notions about his thinking.
7. Immortal and indestructible, surround everything and destroy everything.
Anaximander’s phrase for posterity.
8. The indefinite is divine, for it is immortal and imperishable.
Another reflection on the indefiniteness.
9. Nature is eternal and does not age.
A description of mother nature and its peculiarities.
10. The earth is cylindrical, three times as wide as its depth, and only the upper part is inhabited. But this earth is isolated in space and the sky is a complete sphere in the center of which is, without support, our cylinder, the earth, is located at the same distance from all points in the sky.
These astronomical principles had a great impact on the knowledge of the Greek period.
10. The original principle of things is aperiron. This is where they arise, this is where they later perish out of necessity.
About aperiron and its qualities.
11. Things originate from the separation of opposites.
On the transformation of matter.
12. The era of humans cannot be explained without its predecessors.
Another phrase about the evolution of species.
13. The principle and element of things is the indefinite.
In this thought he describes the origin of his metaphysical philosophy.
14. Anaximander of Miletus affirmed that infinity is the first principle, and that all things are generated from it, and are corrupted through it. Infinity is nothing but matter. (Plutarch)
The Greek philosopher Plutarch thus summed up some of Anaximander’s ideas.