Who is Arkhelaos?December 13, 2020
He is a philosopher who lived in ancient Greece.
The year and place of birth are unknown. It is said to be from either Miletus or Athens. The information given by the sources about his life does not match. It is claimed that Anaxagoras was a student and became the head of the school after the death of his teacher. According to some sources, he was expelled from Athens and settled in Lapseki due to his behavior against tradition and his attitudes incompatible with social beliefs. There are also sources that write that Pericles and Euripides were friends, and that I taught Socrates for a while. According to Diogenes Laertius, it is Arkhelaos who brought the naturalist understanding of philosophy from Anatolia to Athens. This idea is also controversial, because it is Anaxagoras that actually spreads the philosophy of nature in Athens.
According to Arkhelaos, it is the substance that creates the universe of existence, there is no truth apart from the substance. The smallest elements that make up the types of entities are also units called “atoms” formed from material. However, these constitutive essences are not an “undetermined multitude”, but a certain “dualism”. The reason for the types of entities is this dual attribute. This is hot and cold. It is hot motion, the source of all motion related formations. “Fire”, one of the constituent elements, is hot, mobile and active. Cold is stationary, not linked to motion. Therefore, it is the source of the constituent element called “water”. When water is in its liquid state, it is fluid and has weight. It turns into soil, air in extreme heat. The air goes high, the earth goes down. The transformation of water into air and soil is due to the founding cause called “temperature”.
Occurrence, on the other hand, is a “transformation” that takes place as a result of mutual influences and influences between heat and coldness. When the separation between the dynamic fire (temperature) and the static one (coldness) began, air and soil were formed. The types of assets that occur have two principles. These are hot and cold in quality, fire and air in substance. The universe is infinite, unlimited. The largest of the stars in the universe is the sun. Since the soil and water are heavy and stable, they are located below, in focus. The air from burning fire is obvious. Fire itself is at the top. Therefore, fire dominates all beings and the universe. When the heavens are tilted a little, the sun illuminates the universe. That is why the air is transparent and the soil is dry.
Spirit is a very fine substance. Gold, iron, water are identical, but one is not the other. This difference results from the change in the order of constituent elements. The spirit, which is composed of such a fine substance as gold is not iron and iron is not water, is not other than itself. There are two principles of morality, one righteous and one good. Human behavior must be organized according to this principle. A moral person is a person who acts rightly and nicely.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Ömer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Class “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2., 3., 4. Class “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook