<ancient greek philosophy, mathematics, astronomy>, <presocratic school, philosophy of nature> Presocratic philosopher (500-428 BC) who taught at Athens, leaving fragments of his philosophical work. Despite his rejection of a fundamental distinction between appearance and reality and adoption of an atomistic natural philosophy, Anaxagoras was the first philosopher in the Western tradition to draw a substantial distinction between inert and chaotic matter on the one hand and mind as an active principle and source of order on the other hand. Recommended Reading: Malcolm Schofield, An Essay on Anaxagoras (Cambridge, 1980).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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