more from Anaxagoras

Single Idea 21381

[catalogued under 27. Natural Reality / G. Biology / 1. Biology]

Full Idea

In the germ there are hair, nails, arteries, sinews, bones, which are not manifest because of the smallness of their parts, but become distinct little by little as they grow. For how could hair come from not-hair, or flesh from non-flesh.

Gist of Idea

Germs contain microscopic organs, which become visible as they grow


Anaxagoras (fragments/reports [c.460 BCE], B10), quoted by Gregory Vlastos - The Physical Theory of Anaxagoras I

Book Reference

Vlastos,Gregory: 'Studies in Greek Phil I: The Presocratics', ed/tr. Graham,D.W [Princeton 1993], p.307

A Reaction

Compare Aristotle's apparent view that the physical world has no microscopic structure, and Democritus's view that hair can come from not-hair by the organisation of atoms. Is this the first suggestion that we need to know what is microscopic?