2 - Anaximander Like Thales, Anaximander was a monist. But...

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Anaximander Like Thales, Anaximander was a monist . But he rejected Thales’ supposition that water is the material archê . Instead, he proposed the apeiron (the indefinite, or the infinite). Why did he do this? There is only one extant fragment ( 6 = B1). It was recorded by the commentator Simplicius (6th C.), who was preserving an account of Anaximander given by Aristotle’s student Theophrastus; it’s possible that Simplicius may have gotten the quote from yet another commentator, Alexander, in his now lost commentary on Aristotle’s Physics . Here is the fragment: They pay penalty and retribution to each other for their injustice in accordance with the ordering of time . Before trying to figure out what this means, let’s look at the context in Simplicius: Anaximander . .. said that the indefinite was the first principle and element of things that are, and he was the first to introduce this name for the first principle [i.e., he was the first to call the first principle indefinite]. He says that the first principle is neither water nor any other of the things called elements, but some other nature which is indefinite . ... Here’s a quite different translation (Barnes, EGP 74-75): Anaximander . .. said that the infinite is principle and element of the things that exist. He was the
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2 - Anaximander Like Thales, Anaximander was a monist. But...

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