500-428 BC

Anaxagoras was an Athenian philosopher and scientist. He was known for his materialistic views, particularly his contention that the sun was a fiery rock, a view that led to charges of heresy. After he was sentenced to death by the Athenian court, he left Athens. He spent his remaining years in exile.

Anaxagoras speculated that in the physical world everything contains a portion of everything else. His observation of how nutrition works in animals led him to conclude that in order for the food that an animal eats to be processed into bone, hair, flesh, and so forth, it must already contain all of those constituents within it.

Writings about Anaxagoras

Anaxagoras retrieved from on May 12, 2009.

Barnes, Jonathan (1996). The pre-Socratic philosophers. New York, NY: Routledge.

Furley, David. (2002) Anaxagoras, Plato and naming of parts. In Victor Caston and Daniel W. Graham. (Eds.). Presocratic philosophy. Burlington VT: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 119-126.

Gershenson, Daniel E. and Greenberg, Daniel A. (1964). Anaxagoras and the birth of physics. New York: Blaisdell Publishing Company.

Graham, Daniel (1994) The postulates of Anaxagoras”, Apeiron, 27 77-121.

Guthrie, W.K.C. (1965) A history of Greek philosophy. Vol. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kirk, G.S., Raven, J.E. and Schofield, M. (1983). The pre-Socratic philosophers. 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press.

McKirahan, Richard D. (1994). Philosophy before Socrates. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company.

Schofield, Malcolm. (1980) An essay on Anaxagoras. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980.

Sider, David (2005). The fragments of Anaxagoras. 2nd ed. revised. Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag.

Taylor, C.C.W. (1997). “Anaxagoras and the atomists.” In C. C. W. Taylor (Ed.) From the beginning to Plato. Routledge history of philosophy, Vol. I. (pp. 208-243). New York, NY: Routledge.