Anaxagoras and human rationality

Adam Drozdek

In Anaxagoras’ system, cosmic Mind is one, indivisible and immutable and thus cannot be divided into parts, into individual minds residing in living beings. The same Mind is in one living being as it is in another. Also, the soul is an individual entity, one soul in one living being. Mind does manifest itself in a living being, not as the soul, but through the soul. Mind must be constantly present in the individual soul for the soul to be capable of thought. Only in this sense could the soul’s dormant cognitive ability be called an individual mind. However, for man, only this life remains, although man is highest in the hierarchy among existing beings. Mind seems to make man alive and rational so that man can admire its handiwork, the order and harmony of the world. But this is where man’s cosmic role ends.

Keywords: Anaxagoras · cosmic Mind · soul · pre-Socratic philosophy

Adam Drozdek — Associate Professor at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh. His current research focuses on historical development of theological thought.   »  

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