Anaximander of Miletus


Anaximander of Miletus
(c. 611 bc) Greek philosopher
Anaximander, who was born and died in Miletus (now in Turkey), belonged to the first school of natural philosophy and was the pupil of Thales. He wrote one of the earliest treatises but none of his writings survive and his work is known only through later writers, notably Aristotle and Theophrastus.
Anaximander criticized Thales's idea that water was the basic element of the universe by pointing out that no one element gains the upper hand and that “they pay the penalty and retribution to one another…according to the ordering of time.” From this he deduced that the primal matter was what he called the apeiron or the indefinite. This idea was later developed by the atomists. He was the first to realize that the Earth did not have to float on water or be supported in any way; he stated that it was in equilibrium with the other bodies in the universe.
Anaximander was the first philosopher to speculate on the origin of man. He is also credited with the first determinations of the solstices and equinoxes and the production of the first map of the world as he knew it. He was the first to recognize that the Earth's surface is curved but believed it was curved only in the north–south direction and consequently represented the Earth as a cylinder.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Anaximander of Miletus — (c. 610–547/6 BC) The first Greek philosopher and astronomer whose thought is known in any detail. Anaximander constructed the first precise geometrical model of the universe, and produced maps of both the earth and the heavens. His inventions… …   Philosophy dictionary

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  • Miletus — • A titular see of Asia Minor, suffragan of Aphrodisias, in Caria Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Miletus     Miletus     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

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  • Miletus — This article is about the ancient city of Anatolia. For other uses, see Miletus (disambiguation). Miletus Μίλητος   Ancient Polis   Turkish transcription(s)  – Modern name Milet …   Wikipedia

  • Anaximander — Anaximandrian /euh nak seuh man dree euhn/, adj. /euh nak seuh man deuhr/, n. 611? 547? B.C., Greek astronomer and philosopher. * * * born 610 BC, Miletus died 546/545 BC Greek philosopher, often called the founder of astronomy. He apparently… …   Universalium

  • Miletus — Milet (ionisch: Μίλητος Miletos, dorisch: Μίλατος Milatos, äolisch: Μίλλατος Millatos, lateinisch: Miletus, hethitisch Millawanda), auch Palatia (Mittelalter) und Balat (Neuzeit) genannt, war eine antike Stadt an der Westküste Kleinasiens, in der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Miletus — /muy lee teuhs/, n. 1. Class. Myth. a son of Apollo and Aria, and the founder of the city of Miletus. 2. an ancient city in Asia Minor, on the Aegean. * * * Ancient Greek city of western Anatolia. Before 500 BC it was the greatest Greek city in… …   Universalium

  • Anaximander — noun (c. 610 BC–c. 546 BC) A pre Socratic Greek philosopher who lived in Miletus; pupil of Thales and teacher of Anaximenes …   Wiktionary

  • ANAXIMANDER —    a Greek philosopher of Miletus, derived the universe from a material basis, indeterminate and eternal (611 547 B.C.) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia


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