Anaximander of Miletus (610 B.C. – 545 B.C.) was a philosopher and geographer of special importance in Greek thought.
Like his master Thales, Anaximander was born in the city of Miletus, and shared teachings and reflections with Anaximen, who was his disciple. Anaximander’s main contribution refers to 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 commentaries by later scholars. His works in astronomy and geography had a special significance, being the first human being to measure the solstices and equinoxes, besides being a pioneer in claiming that the Earth is cylindrical, although he erred in ensuring that it occupied a central position in the universe.
In today’s article we are going to compile the best phrases of Anaximander , to understand a little better the thought and ideas of this outstanding Greek philosopher.
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 this.
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 foundation stone towards understanding human evolution.
4. Things are full of Gods.
On the omnipotence of the divine being.
4. There are many worlds and many systems of Universes that exist all at the same time, all of them perishable.
His astronomical vision had a great impact and follow up in his time.
5. The undefined is unborn and incorruptible, for that which begins necessarily has an end; and all corruption has a term.
His philosophy of matter had this fundamental premise.
6. Unlimited has no principle, for in such a case it would be limited.
An obvious one that synthesizes several notions about his thinking.
7. Immortal and indestructible, it surrounds everything and destroys everything.
Anaximander’s phrase for posterity.
8. The undefined is divine, for it is immortal and imperishable.
Another reflection on the lack of definition.
9. Nature is eternal and does not age.
A description about Mother Nature and her particularities.
10. The earth is cylindrical, three times as wide as its depth, and only the top is inhabited. But this earth is isolated in space and the sky is a complete sphere in the center of which, without support, our cylinder, the earth, is situated at the same distance from all points of the sky.
These astronomical principles had a great impact on the knowledge of the Greek era.
10. The original principle of things is aperture. That is where they arise, that is where they later perish by reason of necessity.
About the aperiron and its qualities.
11. Things originate from the separation of the opposites.
On the transformation of matter.
12. The age of humans cannot be explained without their ancestors.
Another sentence about the evolution of the species.
13. The principle and element of things is the undefined.
In this thought he describes the origin of his metaphysical philosophy.
14. Anaximander of Miletus affirmed that the infinite is the first principle, and that all things are generated from it, and are corrupted through it. The infinite is nothing but matter. (Plutarch)
The Greek philosopher Plutarch summarized some of Anaximander’s ideas in this way.