Introduction to Anaxagoras | Presocratic Philosophy

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Published 2 years ago

Anaxagoras of Clazomenae is, in Presocratic Philosophy, the philosopher of Nous - the Cosmic principle of mind which sets everything in the universe in motion. In this episode of The Living Philosophy we explore the Anaxagoras Nous Cosmic Mind philosophy and how it relates to another giant of Presocratic Philosophy Parmenides and his theory of Being. For more on the Ancient Greek philosophy giants we call Presocratics, be sure to check out our video on the Presocratic philosopher Heraclitus and the way in which his philosophy is often misunderstood. So without further ado let's look at the first philosopher to live in Athens - Anaxagoras of Clazomenae.

Media and files:

0:00 Introduction
02:00 The Life and Times of Anaxagoras
08:29 The Philosophy of Anaxagoras
19:42 Anaxagoras and the Philosophy of Parmenides

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💬 Comments

So well explained, and simply put. Such A complex story, thanks for the help!

Author — Cierra Pacheco


You’re on to a lot here. You may consider reviewing this yourself:)! I found it quite insightful, my hat to this gentleman.
Nous considered these things and thus they exist. Everything is merely thought of Nous. They are like ingredients for a chef. Ingredients that the chef holds in its mind, or Nous. They are an extension, but they are not Nous itself. Now let’s play the unlimited “what if” game.

Author — Aaron Sibila


Hey, watched both Heraclitus and Anaxagoras and want to continue our discussion about change. So as I understand it, you think that even though Anaxagoras and Heraclitus were "propagandists" of change, they still hold the idea of "being in itself." Kind of Kantian division of the world as phenomenon and appearance? Nous is a thing in itself, omnipresent throughout the universe, as you say, a fundamental element rather than an emergent principle of matter. Okay, now let's get to Nietzche's "Beyond Good and Evil." In paragraph 34, he talks about the erroneousness of the world asking "what forces us at all to
suppose that there is an essential opposition of "true" and "false"? The idea of "true" world, which was the world of Nous from ancient times, the world that is beyond our comprehension, the world of Platonic forms as philosophers call it nowadays, was nothing but counterfeit for him. In the last parts of "Ecce Homo, " where he mocks Kant and curses "idealism, " he strongly rejects "being in itself" and sets forth the faith in becoming. Although, earlier in "Zarathustra, " he entertained the idea of eternal recurrence, which we may consider as ultimately "unchanging thing"; in his later writings, he makes stress on infinite becoming more and more. I guess we may put the dichotomy of determinism and free will here as well and say that Nietzsche, though being a determinist to some degree, as in "Human All Too Human" so in "Beyond Good and Evil" (It seems that the hundred-times-refuted theory of a "free will" owes its
persistence to this charm alone; again and again someone comes along who feels he is strong enough to refute it), yet gives a lot of credit to free will thought lifting up the concept of becoming. Anyway, I think it's possible to reconcile both in our psyche as compatibilists do. It's kind of strange to be a determinist and do not take seriously the idea of absolute truth, and yet, it seems, I can do that pretty well. You know, you talk a lot about the Greeks, so I want to ask, have you read Sextus Empiricus and what do you think about skepticism in general?

Author — Vladimir Svetashev


The Latin translated ot to intellect. But the dianoia is only one aspect of the nous. The soul and heart at equally involved. The nous in the ontological perception of man used to see Truth.

Author — Επαμεινωνδας Κοσμας