Everything in everything : Anaxagoras’s metaphysics by Anna Marmodoro

By Anna Marmodoro

Anaxagoras of Clazomenae (Vth century BCE) is better identified within the historical past of philosophy for his stance that there's a percentage of every thing in every little thing. He places ahead this concept of maximum mix as an answer to the matter of swap he and his contemporaries inherited from Parmenides - that what's can't come from what's no longer (and vice versa). but, for historical and sleek students alike, the metaphysical value of Anaxagoras's place has confirmed demanding to knowing. In Everything in Everything, Anna Marmodoro bargains a clean interpretation of Anaxagoras's conception of blend, arguing for its soundness and likewise relevance to modern debates in metaphysics. For Anaxagoras the basic parts of truth are the opposites (hot, chilly, rainy, dry, etc.), which Marmodoro argues are cases of actual causal powers. The unchanging opposites compose mereologically, forming (phenomenologically) emergent wholes. every little thing within the universe (except nous) derives from the opposites. the other exist as without end partitioned; they are often scattered in every single place and be in every little thing. Mardomoro additional indicates that their severe blend is made attainable via the omni-presence and consequently com-presence within the universe, that is in flip facilitated by way of the unlimited divisibility of the opposites. Anaxagoras tackles the logical effects of the unlimited divisibility of the weather. he's the 1st ante litteram 'gunk lover' within the background of metaphysics. He additionally has a special perception of (non-material) gunk and a different strength ontology, which Marmodoro refers to as 'power gunk'. Marmodoro investigates the character of energy gunk and the explanatory application of the idea that for Anaxagoras, for his idea of maximum combination. while such a lot defenders of an atomless universe these days argue for fabric gunk as a conceptual hazard (only), Anaxagoras argues for energy gunk because the ontology of nature.

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They are separable at least in principle, since they are not found in pure form in nature, but mixed between them. For instance, in the Generation and Corruption we read that “fire and air, and each of the bodies we have mentioned, are not simple but combined” (330b21–​23). 44 45 T h e F u n da m e n ta l I t e m s i n t h e O n t o l o g y must, however, give a detailed explanation of the primary bodies as well, since they too are similarly derived from the matter. We must reckon as a principle and as primary the matter which underlies, though it is inseparable from, the contrary qualities: for the hot is not matter for the cold nor the cold for the hot, but the substratum is matter for them both.

In B13, for instance, we read, When Nous began to move [things], there was separation off from the multitude that was being moved, and whatever Nous moved, all this was dissociated; and as things were being moved and dissociated, the revolution made them dissociate much more. καὶ ἐπεὶ ἤρξατο ὁ νοῦς κινεῖν, ἀπὸ τοῦ κινουμένου παντὸς ἀπεκρίνετο, καὶ ὅσον ἐκίνησεν ὁ νοῦς, πᾶν τοῦτο διεκρίθη· κινουμένων δὲ καὶ διακρινομένων ἡ περιχώρησις πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἐποίει διακρίνεσθαι.  On Aristotle, see Marmodoro (2014a, 2015).

Anaxagoras seems not to have singled out this state of interacting powers as a distinct ontological state that he has to account for. 39 In other words, he does not distinguish a state of potentiality from one of where powers are exercised.  Mourelatos (1987) finds this position widespread among Parmenides’s immediate successors: It is important to note that when the Pluralists speak of a dynamis or “power” present in a fundamental constituent, they must be taken to imply a power that is continuously, even eternally manifest; nothing like the Aristotelian scheme of potencies that are triggered into actualities can be presupposed; nothing like Aristotelian qualitative alteration or qualitative interaction can be envisaged.

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