Who is Anaxagoras (Anaxagoras)?November 30, 2020
Anaxagoras is one of the pre-Socratic thinkers who lived between 500 and 428 BC.
Anaxagoras, born in Klazomenai, opened a school in Athens and raised many students such as Pericles, Euripides, and Arkhealos (according to some authors, this person is Socrates). He has a work titled On Nature, some of which survive until today. In Plato’s Phaidion, Socrates mentioned that he took lessons from Anaxagoras. Anaxagoras has also written a philosophy book. Thanks to Simplicius of Cilicia in the 6th century AD, fragments of the first part of this book have survived to this day.
As the birthplace of Anaxagoras, the city of Klazomenai, formerly known as Klazomenai, is located near Urla today. Anaxagoras belongs to one of the noble families of this city. It is rumored that he spent all his wealth for the sake of scientific research that he devoted his life to. He examined a meteorite that fell in 468 BC and came to the conclusion that it was a piece of angry stone.
Anaxagoras was the first thinker to settle in Athens. Thus, Athens entered the world of philosophy. He was welcomed here, a friend of Pericles, the most powerful person of the period. He also established friendship with the tragedian writer Evripides, another important figure of the era. The study of celestial bodies and the fall of the meteorite led him to develop new theories about the universal order. He tried to give information about the lunar and solar eclipses, meteorites, the rainbow and the sun, which he described as a larger and radiant mass than the Peloponnese.
He claimed that the celestial bodies were of the same structure as the earth. However, these theories contradicted the beliefs of the people. Because at that time, the sun was a god for the Greeks and it is a great disrespect to call it a stone. Hence, in 450 BC, Anaxagoras was brought to court by Pericles’ political opponents for violating the established belief. Although he was freed by Pericles, he was forced to leave Athens and go to Lampsakos (now Çanakkale-Lampsakos) in Ionia. He died there in 428 BC. It is said that his statue was erected in the agora of Lampsakos after his death and that the students held commemoration ceremonies on his death anniversary.
According to Anaxagoras, everything in the universe consists of an infinite number of small seeds, in other words, spermata. What is called change is the coming together and separation of this infinite number of sperm. All visible things in the universe are also composed of a certain number of sperms. Spermatas are not only infinite in number, but also immortal in nature. They have always been and will always continue to be.
There is a structure called nous in the universe, which is pure and simple just like the sperm. Because of this feature, it never disappears. So it would not be wrong to say that the universe consists of an infinite number of spermatozoa and nous. What Anaxagoras is trying to do with this painting is to try to overcome the distinction made between appearance and reality. Nous regulates the changes, mergers and separations of all these sperms in the universe.
Nous; 1. It is a driving force, 2. It also plans the universe in certain places. Anaxagoras’ attribution of both motive and planning power to Nous made him one of the first teleological (aiming) thinkers.