Anaximenes (585 B.C.E. - 525 B.C.E.)
Possibly a pupil but at least a follower of Anaximandros, Anaximenes of Miletus (ˌanakˈsiməˌnēz) made his infinite and first principle the air. He conceived the earth as suspended. He theorized on the rainbow, earthquakes, and the revolution of the heavenly bodies, mistakenly supposing the earth to be broad and flat. He affirmed the eternity of motion as well as the perishability of the earth. He needed no dogma of divine creation.
He stated, although not defining "soul,"
- Just as our soul, being air, holds us together, so do breath and air encompass the whole world.
According to J. M. Robertson, Anaximenes
- cannot have anticipated the chemical conception of the reduction of all solids to gases: The thesis was framed either a priori or in adaptation of priestly claims for the deities of the elements; and others were to follow with the guesses of earth and fire and heat and cold. Still, the speculation is that of bold and far-grasping thinkers, and for these there can have been no validity in the ordinary God-ideas of polytheism.
Oxford's E. L. Hussey of All Souls College has described Anaximenes, the naturalist:
- He proposed a cosmological theory in which the whole of the universe consisted of air in different degrees of density - the first attested attempt to explain qualitative differences in terms of quantitative ones, and one backed up by an appeal to everyday experience (air breathed from the open mouth feels warm, air breathed through pursed lips feels cold.