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Word Count: 1,118
1 Anaximenes postulates air as the arch This may seem to be a throwback to Thales a step backward after Anaximander but I will argue that is is not 2 Anaximenes is offering a new world view 1 Anaximander thought of the basic stuffs and qualities of the world as opposites in conflict 2 Anaximenes had a different conception the basic stuffs and qualities are not opposed but different stages of a continuum 3 Rarefaction and Condensation Read the fragments in Plutarch 21 B1 Simplicius 16 A5 and Hippolytus 18 A7 This is the basic picture Fire AIR Wind Cloud Water Earth Stone The green arrow represents condensation the blue arrow represents rarefaction Each kind of stuff in the continuum can rarefy or condense into either of its neighbors eg water can rarefy into cloud or condense into earth As the diagram above shows then each kind can either condense or eventually rarefy into air 4 Why is air the basic stuff in Anaximenes view of the world He might have picked any of the items in the continuum 1 He rejected the apeiron perhaps because it was unperceivable and he could therefore not be certain of its existence 2 Among the familiar elements air is the most like the apeiron as Anaximander conceived it Air is the most neutral of the elements 3 He probably believed that air was the original element out of which the others developed by the process of rarefaction and condensation 5 In what sense is air the arch There are two possibilities a Cosmogony explanation of the origin of the universe The key concept Y was made from X In this case Anaximenes theory is that everything that exists developed out of the original air b Constituent analysis Cf Barnes Presocratics 41 The key concept Y is made of X In this case Anaximenes
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