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Thursday, 23 August 2018

Der Spruch des Anaxagoras

Starting my lectures on metaphysics ans speculation on tree-like and other graph structures of connection between Same and Other. I started with one and many and the different ways to see how they relate. To the idea of an arché which is origin and government expressed in the thoughts of Anaximander, I contrasted the idea of an assemblage or a composition from different things. I dwelt in the contrast between Anaximander and Anaxagoras I drawed in a now six years old paper on the idea of horizon in Anaxagoras and Anaximander. In fact, Anaximander can be read as suggesting a very different project, different from the ones reducing the different to the same, the multiple to the unity. Reality is composed of multiple elements and not constituted from one or few ingredients. There is no foundation or ground, there is just composition, assemblage; he states that "[f]or none of the other things either is like any Other. And these things being so, we must hold that all things are in the whole." (fr.4) It is the origin of a non-standard conception where reality is tied to difference coming together. Anaxagoras claims that

All things were together, infinite both in number and in smallness; for the small too was infinite. And, when all things were together, none of them could be distinguished for their smallness. For air and aether prevailed over all things, being both of them infinite; for amongst all things these are the greatest both in quantity and size. (fragment 1)

Anaxagoras holds a priority nihilism in fragment 3:

Nor is there a least of what is small, but there is always a smaller; for it cannot be that what is should cease to be by being cut.But there is also always something greater than what is great, and it is equal to the small in amount, and, compared with itself, each thing is both great and small.

But I always think that perhaps the claim that needs more attentive examination in contrast with the idea of a ground is fragment 10:

How can hair come from what is not hair, or flesh from what is not flesh?

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