Anaxagoras and the Theory of Everything

Patricia Curd

in The Oxford Handbook of Presocratic Philosophy

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780195146875
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199892112 | DOI:


Anaxagoras and the Theory of Everything

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Anaxagoras of Clazomenae proposed a theory of everything. Like other Presocratics, Anaxagoras addressed topics that could now be placed outside the sphere of philosophical inquiry: not only did he explore metaphysics and the nature of human understanding but he also offered explanations in physics, meteorology, astronomy, physiology, and biology. His aim seems to have been to explain as completely as possible the world in which human beings live, and one's knowledge of that world; thus he seeks to investigate the universe from top to bottom. This article explores Anaxagoras's world from its basic foundations. It undertakes to show the connections among the metaphysical, epistemological, and cosmological parts of Anaxagoras's theory. The discovery and publication of new material has also enhanced the understanding of Presocratic thought. A spectacular example is the new material from Empedocles of Acragas that has become available.

Keywords: Anaxagoras; Clazomenae; Presocratics; metaphysics; Acragas

Article.  10389 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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