Everything in everything : Anaxagoras’s metaphysics by Anna Marmodoro

By Anna Marmodoro

Anaxagoras of Clazomenae (Vth century BCE) is healthier identified within the historical past of philosophy for his stance that there's a percentage of every little thing in every little thing. He places ahead this thought of maximum combination 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 old and smooth students alike, the metaphysical importance of Anaxagoras's place has confirmed hard to figuring out. In Everything in Everything, Anna Marmodoro deals a clean interpretation of Anaxagoras's conception of mix, arguing for its soundness and in addition relevance to modern debates in metaphysics. For Anaxagoras the elemental components of fact 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 thing within the universe (except nous) derives from the opposites. the other exist as without end partitioned; they are often scattered all over the place and be in every thing. Mardomoro extra indicates that their severe blend is made attainable by means of the omni-presence and as a result com-presence within the universe, that's in flip facilitated through the unlimited divisibility of the opposites. Anaxagoras tackles the logical results of the unlimited divisibility of the weather. he's the 1st ante litteram 'gunk lover' within the heritage of metaphysics. He additionally has a distinct perception of (non-material) gunk and a different strength ontology, which Marmodoro refers to as 'power gunk'. Marmodoro investigates the character of strength gunk and the explanatory application of the concept that for Anaxagoras, for his conception of maximum mix. when such a lot defenders of an atomless universe these days argue for cloth gunk as a conceptual threat (only), Anaxagoras argues for energy gunk because the ontology of nature.

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25 I endorse this conclusion, and in lieu of adding my own arguments for it, in what follows I will briefly argue against the alternative view, taking John Palmer (2009) as representative.  See for instance Curd (2010: 142) as representative of the state of the field. Those who think that Anaxagoras was a strict Parmenidean believe that Anaxagoras would have posited “a multitude of material beings that replicate as far as possible the attributes of Parmenidean Being” (in Palmer’s words, 2009: 225).

This appears to be a more complete and yet economical explanation of the powerfulness of objects. I conclude that it is textually and philosophically plausible to take Anaxagoras to have developed a powers-​only ontology.  CLOSING REMARKS This chapter has introduced the metaphysical foundations of Anaxagoras’s philosophy of nature. Anaxagoras develops a cosmology according to which the world that we experience originates from a cosmic mixture of all elements together. As we will see in more detail in ­chapter 5, at some point in time the mixture is set in motion by a cosmic vortex, by nous’s intervention.

I do not see the degree of strength of a power trope as being incompatible with its being simple. 22 23 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 a trope is a composite of matter and form, where form is instantiated in matter. The difference, therefore, between Anaxagoras’s and Aristotle’s metaphysics of powers does not lie in the concreteness of the powers—​both Anaxagorean and Aristotelian powers are concrete. The metaphysical role of matter in Aristotle’s system does not involve ensuring the concreteness of bodies, or deriving stuff from the basic powers.

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