I found the first selection of readings in the Presocratics Reader more interesting than this newest one, perhaps because it confronted the questions of the beginning of philosophical thinking, which is an interesting topic. However, from this reading I found Anaxagoras’ thoughts most interesting. Anaxagoras moved to Athens and was known to be an associate of Pericles. Even though Anaxagoras was involved in politics he contributed to early philosophical thought.
Anaxagoras believed in the Mind (Nous). He said that “All things were together” – except for the mind. Anaxagoras believed the mind is the only thing that is not mixed with anything else. But, the mind is what sets everything else into motion. This motion mixes and separates different ingredients, and these ingredients compose of the things we see in the world we live in. Anaxagoras believes that the ingredients the mind puts into motion are simple, it’s the mixtures of these simple ingredients which complex things emerge from.
Anaxagoras states that there are many different things present in everything and everything is a compound, which the mind has formed. Anaxagoras believes that everything equals off. When there is more of one thing in a combination then there is less of another in another combination; everything has a share of everything in it.
Anaxagoras continues to state that the Nous is the only thing which rules itself and is unmixed. Nous controls all things which have soul, and put the beginning into motion. I think it is interesting thought from Anaxagoras and equally interesting how he looks to one thing to be the beginning of everything else. Like other Presocratics, Anaxagoras believes it is one specific element which put into place everything else we see, and they are interested in deterring what element that is.