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Anaximander’s Innumerable Worlds

KOČANDRLE, R. Anaximander’s Innumerable Worlds. London, 2017.
Jazyk publikace: eng
Anglický název: Anaximander’s Innumerable Worlds
Rok vydání: 2017
Autoři: PhDr. Radim Kočandrle Ph.D.
Abstrakt EN: Some ancient authors ascribe to Anaximander of Miletus a teaching about innumerable worlds. That could be interpreted to mean either coexistent or successive worlds, or even just changes within one world. Yet while Simplicius links Anaximander with a concept of coexisting worlds, one could claim that such a notion is in fact based on much later atomistic ideas. The notion of coexistent worlds was thus ascribed to Anaximander probably by mistake, due to his unique cosmology based on circles of heavenly bodies which pass under the Earth. Various references to temporal cycles found in Anaximander more likely correspond to a notion of unending cycle of destruction and becoming of worlds, such as Aristotle ascribes to Heraclitus and Empedocles. Since in the context of the issue of becoming Simplicius likens Anaximander’s position to that of Heraclitus, the Milesian should be seen as one of the Ionian thinkers in whose view the world undergoes destruction and becoming according to the ‘periods of time’. Yet given that in the archaic period the rise of something new amounted to a destruction of the previously existing, we should not view this as changes occurring within one world. In other words, if, over a period of time, a world undergoes fundamental changes, it in effect becomes a new world. And since Anaximander’s cosmology rests on biological foundations and the Boundless is ‘imperishable’, we may assume that just as all living things perish, so the world, too, is subject to destruction. After it perishes, however, there comes a time for another world to come into being, just like in all living things continuity is maintained over generations. The individual worlds thus similarly succeed one another.
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