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UNE SCIENCE ATHÈNIENNE DE LA NATURE. LA PROMESSE ET LE TESTAMENT D’ANAXAGORE

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image of Méthexis

Anaxagoras brought to Athens the hope that becoming, despite the tradition of the Eleatic school, might still be intelligible, not only because he sees it as the effect of an order crafted by a divine mind, but also because he opposes the Parmenidean claim that there is no point in trying to know the ϕύσις (i.e. essence) of things that need to grow (ϕύεσθαι). Anaxagoras finds in the growth (ϕύεσθαι) of vegetais a principle of identity that makes becoming intelligible. Using parts of animals to which ancient Greek also applies the same verb (we grow flesh, nails and hair), Anaxagoras extends the consistency of vegetal becoming to all beings, all of them now coming from seeds. The essence (ϕύσις) of things, can now be explained through its origins -that from which it grows (ϕύεσθαι). The new philosophical fifth century meaning of ϕύσις, as origin, could have stemmed from such a new impulse to inquire about the seeds of all things.

10.1163/24680974-90000577
/content/journals/10.1163/24680974-90000577
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/content/journals/10.1163/24680974-90000577
2011-03-30
2017-10-22

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