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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index A > Anaxagoras Quotes

(c. 500 B.C. - c. 428 B.C.)

Greek philosopher.

Science Quotes by Anaxagoras (6 quotes)

All other things have a portion of everything, but Mind is infinite and self-ruled, and is mixed with nothing but is all alone by itself.
— Anaxagoras
Simplicius, Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics, 164, 24 - 5. In G. S. Kirk, J. E. Raven and M. Schofield (eds.), The Presocratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts (1983), p. 363.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (141)  |  Mind (544)

And since the portions of the great and the small are equal in number, so too all things would be in everything. Nor is it possible that they should exist apart, but all things have a portion of everything.
— Anaxagoras
Simplicius, Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics, 164, 26-8. In G. S. Kirk, J. E. Raven and M. Schofield (eds.), The Presocratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts (1983) , p. 365-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (141)  |  Existence (254)

Appearances are a glimpse of the obscure.
— Anaxagoras
Anaxagoras, fr. 21a. Trans. R. W. Sharples.
Science quotes on:  |  Existence (254)

Neither is there a smallest part of what is small, but there is always a smaller (for it is impossible that what is should cease to be). Likewise there is always something larger than what is large.
— Anaxagoras
Simplicius, Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics, 164, 17-9. In G. S. Kirk, J. E. Raven and M. Schofield (eds.), The Presocratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts (1983), p. 360.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (141)  |  Atom (251)

The Greeks are wrong to recognize coming into being and perishing; for nothing comes into being nor perishes, but is rather compounded or dissolved from things that are. So they would be right to call coming into being composition and perishing dissolution.
— Anaxagoras
Simplicius, Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics, 163,20-4. In G. S. Kirk, J. E. Raven and M. Schofield (eds.), The Presocratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts (1983), p. 358.
Science quotes on:  |  Life (917)

There is no smallest among the small and no largest among the large; but always something still smaller and something still larger.
— Anaxagoras
Quoted in Eli Maor, To Infinity and Beyond (1991), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Large (82)  |  Size (47)  |  Small (97)

Quotes by others about Anaxagoras (4)

He (Anaxagoras) is said to have been twenty years old at the time of Xerxes' crossing, and to have lived to seventy-two. Apollodorus says in his Chronicles that he was born in the seventieth Olympiad (500-497 B.C.) and died in the first year of the eighty-eighth (428/7). He began to be a philosopher at Athens in the archonship of Callias (456/5), at the age of twenty, as Demetrius Phalereus tells us in his Register of Archons, and they say he spent thirty years there. … There are different accounts given of his trial. Sotion, in his Succession of Philosophers, says that he was prosecuted by Cleon for impiety, because he maintained that the sun was a red hot mass of metal, and after that Pericles, his pupil, had made a speech in his defence, he was fined five talents and exiled. Satyrus in his Uves, on the other hand, says that the charge was brought by Thucydides in his political campaign against Pericles; and he adds that the charge was not only for the impiety but for Medism as well; and he was condemned to death in his absence. ... Finally he withdrew to Lampsacus, and there died. It is said that when the rulers of the city asked him what privilege he wished to be granted, he replied that the children should be given a holiday every year in the month in which he died. The custom is preserved to the present day. When he died the Lampsacenes buried him with full honours.
Diogenes Laλrtius 2.7. In G. S. Kirk, J. E. Raven and M. Schofield (eds.), The Presocratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts (1983), p. 353.
Science quotes on:  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Sun (211)

Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, son of Hegesiboulos, held that the first principles of things were the homoeomeries. For it seemed to him quite impossible that anything should come into being from the non-existent or be dissolved into it. Anyhow we take in nourishment which is simple and homogeneous, such as bread or water, and by this are nourished hair, veins, arteries, flesh, sinews, bones and all the other parts of the body. Which being so, we must agree that everything that exists is in the nourishment we take in, and that everything derives its growth from things that exist. There must be in that nourishment some parts that are productive of blood, some of sinews, some of bones, and so on-parts which reason alone can apprehend. For there is no need to refer the fact that bread and water produce all these things to sense-perception; rather, there are in bread and water parts which only reason can apprehend.
Aetius 1.3.5. In G. S. Kirk, J. E. Raven and M. Schofield (eds), The Presocratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts (1983), p. 375.
Science quotes on:  |  Human Body (30)

Anaximenes and Anaxagoras and Democritus say that its [the earth’s] flatness is responsible for it staying still: for it does not cut the air beneath but covers it like a lid, which flat bodies evidently do: for they are hard to move even for the winds, on account of their resistance.
Aristotle, On the Heavens, 294b, 13. In G. S. Kirk, J. E. Raven and M.Schofield (eds), The Presocratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts (1983), p. 153.
Science quotes on:  |  Anaximenes (5)  |  Democritus of Abdera (16)  |  Earth (487)

The Epicureans, according to whom animals had no creation, doe suppose that by mutation of one into another, they were first made; for they are the substantial part of the world; like as Anaxagoras and Euripides affirme in these tearmes: nothing dieth, but in changing as they doe one for another they show sundry formes.
Fom Morals, translated by Philemon Holland, The Philosophie, Commonlie Called, the Moral Written by the Learned Philosopher Plutarch of Chζronea (1603), 846. As cited in Harris Hawthorne Wilder, History of the Human Body (1909), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Change (291)  |  Creation (211)  |  Epicurean (2)  |  Euripides (3)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Form (210)  |  Mutation (25)  |  Sundry (4)  |  Suppose (29)

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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