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Anaximander was the second of the physical philosophers of Ionia (in modern-day Turkey), a citizen of Miletus. Anaximander belonged to the Milesian school and was a pupil of his master Thales.
See the fact file below for more information on the Anaximander or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Anaximander worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Son of Praxiades, Anaximander was born in the Ancient Greek city of Miletusin approximately 610 BCE
- According to Apollodorus of Athens, Anaximander was sixty-four years old in the second year of the 58th Olympiad (547–546 BCE), and died shortly afterwards.
- Little is known of Anaximander’s work and life. Information that exists now was written by authors like Aristotle in later times.
- Before Anaximander was born, Miletus had been the hometown of the first scientist in recorded history, Thales.
- Aelian, the 3rd-century Roman rhetorician, described Anaximander as the leader of the Milesian colony to Amphipolis, hence some have inferred that he was a prominent citizen.
- Themistius, a 4th-century Byzantine rhetorician, stated that Anaximander was the first of the known Greeks to produce a written document on nature.
ANAXIMANDER AS A STUDENT
- Anaximander was one of the first students of Thales, perhaps the very first. Pythagoras was one of Thales’ later students who was also taught by Anaximander.
- Thales’ core belief, which he passed on to Anaximander, was that rational explanations rather than the Ancient Greek gods should be used to account for natural phenomena.
- Anaximander’s dream was astonishing. He aimed to understand the origin of things and explain the universe.
THEORIES OF ANAXIMANDER
- Anaximander’s theories were influenced by Greek mythical tradition, learnings from Thales – the father of philosophy – and by observations made by older civilizations in the Near East, especially Babylon.
- Being concerned with the origin of things, Anaximander found an explanation. In Anaximander’s theory, the Apeiron (the infinite), he abandoned with Thales the old mythological cosmogonies.
COSMOLOGY AND THE APEIRON
- Anaximander’s reputation is due mainly to cosmological work, little of which remains.
- We discover from the few extant fragments that he believed the beginning or first principle (arche, a word first found in the writings of Anaximander, and which he probably invented) had grown from a seed – a primordial substance called Apeiron. The Apeiron was infinite and couldn’t be created or destroyed; everything we can sense in the universe had grown from it.
- Based on the tradition, the sky was a solid hemisphere carrying the heavenly bodies. It was supported above the earth by Atlas, a Titan from Greek mythology.
- Anaximander stated that the heavenly bodies didn’t all lie on a single great celestial hemisphere. He located the sun and the moon including the stars at different distances from Earth.
- However, after getting this right, Anaximander got the details wrong. This has generally been understood (for instance by Aristotle and Augustine) as a sort of primal chaos.
- He imagined there were three rings of fire around the Earth – each one for the sun, moon, and stars. Although he correctly said the moon was closer to us than the sun, he incorrectly located the stars closer to us than the moon.
- Anaximander’s realization that the Earth floats free without falling and doesn’t need to be resting on something has been indicated by many as the first cosmological revolution. Thus, this was the starting point of scientific thinking.
- Anaximander viewed the life around him (man and animals) and concluded that it must have evolved from different lifeforms, probably in the world’s wetter environments, and spread to drier places.
- Anaximander believed that humans couldn’t have appeared on Earth in their current form. His reasoning was that some young animals can look after themselves from the moment they are born. However, human children need to be taken care of for several years. He thought that, if this had always been the case, humans could not have survived.
- Anaximander theorized that our ancestor may have been a fish-like creature which gave birth to humans when they reached an age when they could survive even without parents to look after them.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Anaximander across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Anaximander worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Anaximander who was the second of the physical philosophers of Ionia (in modern-day Turkey), a citizen of Miletus. Anaximander belonged to the Milesian school and was a pupil of his master Thales.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Anaximander Facts
- Arrange the Philosophers
- Ancient Era of Philosophy
- Evolution of Humans
- Anaximander’s Contribution
- Other Accomplishments
- Credit to Anaximander
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Link will appear as Anaximander Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 3, 2020
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