Anaxagoras of Clazomenae: Fragments and Testomonia

Anaxagoras of Clazomenae: Fragments and Testomonia

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A Text and Translation with Notes and Essays by Patricia Curd
Phoenix Presocractic Series
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2007
World Rights
304 Pages
ISBN 9781442611634
Published Jul 2010
Online discount: 15%
 $32.95    $28.01

Anaxagoras of Clazomenae (circa. 500 B.C.-428 B.C.) was reportedly the first Presocratic philosopher to settle in Athens. He was a friend of Pericles and his ideas are reflected in the works of Sophocles and Aristophanes. Anaxagoras asserted that Mind is the ordering principle of the cosmos, he explained solar eclipses, and he wrote on a myriad of astronomical, meteorological, and biological phenomena. His metaphysical claim that everything is in everything and his rejection of the possibility of coming to be or passing away are fundamental to all his other views. Because of his philosophical doctrines, Anaxagoras was condemned for impiety and exiled from Athens.

This volume presents all of the surviving fragments of Anaxagoras's writings, both the Greek texts and original facing-page English translations for each. Generously supplemented, it includes detailed annotations, as well as five essays that consider the philosophical and interpretive questions raised by Anaxagoras. Also included are new translations of the ancient testimonia concerning Anaxagoras's life and work, showing the importance of the philosopher and his ideas for his contemporaries and successors. This is a much-needed and highly anticipated examination of Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, one of the forerunners of Greek philosophical and scientific thought.

Patricia Curd is Professor of Philosophy at Purdue University.

To the Reader

PART I: Fragments and Testimonia

  1. The Fragments and their Contexts
  2. Notes on the Fragments
  3. Testimonia

PART II: Essays

  1. Essay 1. Anaxagoras’ Life and Work
    • Anaxagoras’ Life - Parmenides and the Response to Eleaticism - Anaxagoras and Later Greek Thought - Anaxagoras in Aristotle
  2. Essay 2. The Original Mix and the Seeds
    • The Original Mix - A View between the Expansive and Austere Ontologies - Seeds
  3. Essay 3. Everything in Everything
  4. Essay 4. Minding Things: The Workings of Nous
    • Understanding Nous - What Things Have To Do With Mind - Minding Things
  5. Essay 5: Anaxagorean Science
    • Making a World -Separation Here and Elsewhere -Natural Phenomena Above, On, and In the Earth - Living Things: Embryology and Perception -Science and Metaphysics -After Anaxagoras

PART III: Notes on the Sources, Bibliography, Indexes

  1. Notes on the Sources
  2. Bibliography
  3. Index Locorum
  4. Index of Names and Topics
Anaxagoras of Clazomenae presents a consistent interpretation of its subject, one that is sensitive to historical context and to philosophical debates both ancient and modern. Patricia Curd shows how Anaxagoras responded intelligently to the requirements of developing a philosophical-scientific theory in the framework of a system in which coming to be and perishing are ruled out. Her translations are precise and careful, and she avoids unnecessary emendations and departures from the received text. I don't think any other work comes close to this one in providing a general philosophical source book and exposition of Anaxagoras.

Daniel Graham, Department of Philosophy, Brigham Young University

'...this [is an] absolute must-have for classic Greek philosophy and college library shelves.'

John Burroughs, The Midwest Book Review

'The most comprehensive picture of all the ancient sources, fragments, and testimonia, on this most scientific of Presocratics'

David Sider, Journal of Hellenic Studies

'To be recommended as an excellent introduction to the philosophy of Anaxagoras and late Presocratic thought. Curd's work is scholarly, comprehensive, well-structured, and enlightening.'

Giannis P. Stamatellos, Bryn Mawr Classical Review