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Anaximander’s apeiron

KOČANDRLE, R. Anaximander’s apeiron. The Institute of Classical Studies, London, 2015.
Jazyk publikace: eng
Anglický název: Anaximander’s apeiron
Rok vydání: 2015
Autoři: PhDr. Radim Kočandrle Ph.D.
Abstrakt EN: According to tradition, Anaximander of Miletus used the term τὸ ἄπειρον, usually translated as ‘the Boundless’, with reference to ἀρχή, meaning ‘source’ or ‘principle’. However, extant texts show a marked uncertainty among classical authors in their understanding of what τὸ ἄπειρον actually meant. In contrast to Aristotle, who describes Anaximander’s principle as ‘one’ or a ‘mixture’, τὸ ἄπειρον is repeatedly referred to as the Milesian’s ‘source’ only in texts which are based on Theophrastus. One can suppose that Theophrastus or another author from the Peripatetic circle ‘created’ Anaximander’s principle within the broader effort of systematizing his predecessors. The author’s starting point could have been some particular original term. Therefore, it is worth considering the adjective ἄπειρος, which extant sources show may have been used with reference to the term φύσις. One can assume that works of the Presocratics deal with the origin of the world, its appearance and its transformations – issues treated against the background of the most intimate features of life. The phrase φύσις ἄπειρος may then express the boundless power of nature, responsible for all creation and growth. In terms of classical philosophy, Anaximander explained that creation is a process of the separation of opposites. But seen from a biological perspective, we could say that the fertile seed separates from its creator, as can be stated in the description of Anaximander’s cosmogony. Each further step in the differentiation of the phenomenal world is a continuation of the original separation. The deathless and imperishable ἄπειρον is the ultimate reference point for the magnificence of the manifestation of life.
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