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Word Count: 512
Anaximander was a Greek philosopher of Miletus born 611 BCE and hence a younger contemporary of Thales and Pherecydes He lived at the court of Polycrates of Samos and died 547 He wrote a prose work in the Ionic dialect of which on fragment survives Anaximander thought it unnecessary to fix upon air water or fire as the original and primary form of body He preferred to represent it simply as a boundless something from which all things arise and to which they all return again He was struck by a fact which dominated all subsequent physical theory among the Greeks namely that the world presents us with a series of opposites of which the most primary are hot and cold wet and dry If we look at things from this point of view it is more natural to speak of the opposites as being separated out from a mass which is as yet undifferentiated than it is to make any one of the opposites the primary substance Anaximander argued that Thales made the wet too important at the expense of the dry Some such thought at any rate appears to underlie the few words of the solitary fragment of his writing that has been preserved He said that things give satisfaction and reparation to one another for their injustice as is appointed according to the ordering of time This conception of justice and injustice recurs more than once in Ionic natural philosophy and always in the same connection It refers to the encroachment of one opposite or element upon another The formation of the world is due to the separating out of the opposites Anaximanders view of the earth is a curious mixture of scientific intuition and primitive theory On the one hand the earth does not rest on anything but swings free in space The reason he gave was that there is nothing to make it fall in one direction rather than
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