Anaximenes of Miletus (l. c. 546 BCE)

  • Anaximenes of Miletus (l. c. 546 BCE) was a younger contemporary of Anaximander and generally regarded as his student. Known as the Third Philosopher of the Milesian School after Thales (l. c. 585 BCE) and Anaximander (l. c. 610 - c. 546 BCE), Anaximenes proposed air as the First Cause from which all else comes, differing from Thales, who claimed water was the source of all things, or Anaximander, who cited 'the boundless infinite'. To the Greeks of the time, 'air' was comparable to 'soul' and, just as one's breath gave an individual life, so air, Anaximenes claimed, gave life to all observable phenomena.

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