The early Ionian physicists, including Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes, seek to explain the world as generated out of a primordial matter (Gr.
More especially the cosmology of Anaximander resembles the modern doctrine of evolution in its conception of the indeterminate (rO filr€Lpov) out of which the particular forms of the cosmos are differentiated.
Again, Anaximander may be said to prepare the way for more modern conceptions of material evolution by regarding his primordial substance as eternal, and by looking on all generation as alternating with destruction, each step of the process being of course simply a transformation of the indestructible substance.
In conclusion, it is noteworthy that though resorting to utterly fanciful hypotheses respecting the order of the development of the world, Anaximander agrees with modern evolutionists in conceiving the heavenly bodies as arising out of an aggregation of diffused matter, and in assigning to organic life an origin in the inorganic materials of the primitive earth (pristine mud).
The doctrine of Anaximenes, who unites the conceptions of a determinate and indeterminate original substance adopted by Thales and Anaximander in the hypothesis of a primordial and all-generating air, is a clear advance on these theories, inasmuch as it introduces the scientific idea of condensation and rarefaction as the great generating or transforming agencies.
Spherical earth; but, although this does not appear to be warranted, his disciple Anaximander (c. 580 B.C.) put forward the theory that the earth had the figure of a solid body hanging freely in the centre of the hollow sphere of the starry heavens.
So far he is in general agreement with Anaximander, but he differs from him in the solution of the problem, disliking, as a poet and a mystic, the primary matter which satisfied the patient researcher, and demanding a more vivid and picturesque element.
One of the most distinguished among them was Thales of Miletus (6 4 o -543 B.C.), the founder of the Ionian school of philosophy, whose pupil, Anaximander (611-546 B.C.) is credited by Eratosthenes with having designed the first map of the world.
Anaximander looked upon the earth as a section of a cylinder, of Lepsius, Urkundenbuch, Pl.
The geographical knowledge of Anaximander was naturally more ample than that of Homer, for it extended from the Cassiterides or Tin Islands in the west to the Caspian in the east, which he conceived to open out into Oceanus.
Anaximenes, a pupil of Anaximander, was the first to reject the view that the earth was a circular plane, but held it to be an oblong rectangle, buoyed up in the midst of the heavens by the compressed air upon which it rested.
Scientific geography profited largely from the labours of Eratosthenes of Cyrene, whom Ptolemy Euergetes appointed The gnomon was known to the Chinese in the 5th century B.C., and reached the Greeks (Anaximander) through Babylon.
ANAXIMENES, of Miletus, Greek philosopher in the latter half of the 6th century, was probably a younger contemporary of Anaximander, whose pupil or friend he is said to have been.
The earth, for which the researches of Anaximander had prepared the way,' was in fact one of the great discoveries of Pythagoras, was taught by Parmenides, who was connected with the Pythagoreans, and remained for a long time the exclusive property of the Italian schools.'
First, Anaximander chose for what he called his " principle " (ap) d), not water, but a corporeal element intermediate between fire and air on the one hand.
Thus Thales recognized change, but was not careful to explain it; Anaximander attributed to change two directions; Anaximenes conceived the two sorts of change as rarefaction and condensation; Heraclitus, perceiving that, if, as his predecessors had tacitly assumed, change was occasional, the interference of a moving cause was necessary, made change perpetual.
Both successions were doomed to failure; and the result 7 In likening the earth to a cylinder Anaximander recognized its circular figure in one direction.
The earlier Ionian physicists, Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes, in their attempts to trace the Multiplicity of things to a single material element, had been troubled by no misgivings about the possibility of knowledge.
The successors of Thales were Anaximander and Anaximenes, who also sought for a primal substance of things.
Anaximander postulated a corporeal substance intermediate between air and fire on the one hand, and between earth and water on the other hand.
Anaximenes, pupil of Anaximander, seems to have rebelled against the extreme materialism of his master.
We have seen that Thales recognized change, but attempted no explanation; that Anaximander spoke of change in two directions; that Anaximenes called these two directions by specific names.
ANAXIMANDER, the second of the physical philosophers of Ionia, was a citizen of Miletus and a companion or pupil of Thales.
Mankind was supposed by Anaximander to have sprung from some other species of animals, probably aquatic. But as the measureless and endless had been the prime cause of the motion into separate existences and individual forms, so also, according to the just award of destiny, these forms would at an appointed season suffer the vengeance due to their earlier act of separation, and return into the vague immensity whence they had issued.