Anaximander ( Ancient Greek Ἀναξίμανδρος Anaximander; * around 610 BC in Miletus; † after 547 BC in Miletus ) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. It belongs next to Thales and Anaximenes the most important representatives of that philosophical awakening, which is designated by collective terms such as ionic education and Milesian natural philosophy.
Classification of person and meaning
Apollodorus of Athens, according to Anaximander lived around 610-546 BC in Miletus. It is likely that he knew Thales and lived with him in close thoughts Community, in any case he is considered the successor and pupil of Thales.
Him employed the same basic problem as Thales, namely the question of the origin of all being, after Arché ( ἀρχή ). But this he did not the water, but the material for an indefinite apeiron ( ἄπειρον ): the terms of its size " Unlimited " or " immeasurable ". From Anaximander's philosophy only a single fragment has been handed down in your own words. It is the earliest surviving Greek text in prose form. The majority of the philosophical views of Anaximander is shown in the two centuries later tradition of Aristotle and associated with some uncertainties.
As a leading astronomer and astrophysicist, he designed the first purely physical cosmogony. He founded his thoughts on the origins of the universe solely on observation and rational thinking. From him the title of the world was as cosmos ( κόσμος ) and their collection than a planned manner ordered whole. Anaximander also recorded the first not only a geographical map with the known distribution of land and sea, but he also constructed a sphere, a celestial globe. The card is now lost, but was later evaluated by Hecataeus, of whose work a reasonably concrete representation of that world view has survived.
Origin and ordering principle of the universe
The basic substance of all what has become according to Anaximander, the apeiron is interpreted differently: as a spatially and temporally unlimited primordial matter, as infinite divisibility with respect to mass or, as indefinite or infinite, etc. The concept of immeasurable most likely reflects the openness of the possible interpretations of the Apeiron. According to Aristotle, Anaximander has the gods of popular religion considered as a comparable immortal and indestructible essence.
With the only surviving fragment of Anaximander, the first writing concise and traditional set of Greek philosophy is higher than ever before. However, the related research is divided over the extent to which the traditional material actually authentic goes back to Anaximander. The key message is:
" ( What, however, is the emergence of the being, thereinto and their offense takes place ) according to need; because they create another compensation and pay penance for their injustice according to the order of time. "
The quasi legitimate reciprocal detachment gegenstrebiger active forces or substances in a continuous and balanced process is likely to stand for the constant order of the cosmos: a device subject to the change and the change and yet inherently stable system. Disagreement is the research about whether the apeiron is involved in this action or whether it is a purely inner-worldly compensation process, so that the effect of the Apeiron was limited solely to the phase of the origin of the world. In the other case, notions of a plurality of side by side or one after the other existing worlds could be envisaged. Robinson considers that Anaximander, the universe might have thought as an eternal process, " in which an infinite number of galactic systems is born out of the apeiron and resumed in it. He had anticipated a brilliant way the world view of the atomists Democritus and Leucippus, which is usually considered their own performance. "
Cosmos and earth
Anaximander believed in the creation of today's ordered universe have separated themselves from the Eternal, a heat - and cold -forming, and it was a ball of fire to the surrounding air the earth grown as a tree bark.
The stars arise, according to Anaximander by the burst fireball by the cleaved fire is surrounded by air. From them certain tube- like passages befänden as Ausblasestellen; they are visible there as the stars. In the same way also the darkness would arise, namely, by locking the Ausblasestellen.
The sea is a remnant of the original moisture. " Initially, the whole surface of the earth had been wet. How was it but then dried out by the sun, gradually evaporated one part. Thereby resulted the winds and the turning of the sun and moon, on the remaining part, however, the sea. Therefore, it would have less and less water due to dehydration, and eventually it would gradually be completely dry " ( Aristotle, Anaximander ). From a part of this moisture, which evaporate by the sun, the winds would arise by the finest exhalations of the air were eliminated and when they gathered, were set in motion. The sun and moon turning geschähen because this level, vapors and fumes because of that, their turning fully led by relying zuwendeten such places, where they supply this evaporation is guaranteed.
The earth is what is left over from the original moisture in the hollow places of the earth. Anaximander said that the earth is floating, overwhelmed by anything and persistence in dormant due to their equal distance from all sky circles. Their shape is round, convex and resembles in style of a stone column segment of a cylinder. We were on one of their bases; the other is the opposite of this. Downpours formed from the evaporation, which will caused as a result of solar radiation from the earth. Incur flashes by the wind itself into rush into the clouds and beat them apart.
Theory of the Incarnation and of the soul
The emergence of humanity led Anaximander back to other living beings. He had noticed that the man in comparison to other types in the early stages of its development takes a long time until he can provide from its own resources for self-sufficiency and survival. He therefore assumed that the first humans had emerged from animals, specifically from fish or fish-like creatures. Because the origin of living things he was looking in the water; life was for him a spontaneous emergence from the moist environment: " Anaximander says that the first living beings were created in the moisture and surrounded by prickly rinds been. In the course of their lifetime they had gone on the dry land and would after the rind surrounding it was split open, spent their lives for a short time in some other way. "
The soul Anaximander held for air -like. The idea of the soul as Aer may have underlain the connection with life or the inhaling and exhaling. It is unclear whether he distinguished between the breath-soul of man and other living beings.
How is Anaximander's conception of Apeiron and the cosmos behaved to his conception of the soul, whether there was a relationship between them is uncertain. Since Anaximander held the soul for air -like, some suspect that he ascribed immortality of the soul. Whether it further thought of a animation of the cosmos, and also a universal animation, much like she had Thales probably introduced, and in the immortality of individual souls, remains to be seen.
- Hermann Diels (ed.): The fragments of the Presocratics. Volume 1 Edited by Walther Kranz. 4th edition ( reprint of the 3rd edition with supplements ). Weidmann, Berlin 1922 ( Greek and German )
- Laura Gemelli Marciano (eds. ): The pre-Socratic philosophers. Volume 1, Artemis & Winkler, Dusseldorf 2007, ISBN 978-3-7608-1735-4, pp. 32-69 ( Greek source texts with German translation, notes and introduction to the life and work )