The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

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Aristotle, in De Caelo 2.13, claims that Anaximander believed that the earth stays where it is due to “indifference” and equidistance from everything else. The author claims that Aristotle derived this theory from his reading of Plato’s Phaedo and Timaeus. It is much more likely that Anaximander believed the earth to be supported by the vortex, or δίνη, as held by other thinkers of his time, and noticed by Simplicius in his commentary on De Caelo.


John Robinson presented “Anaximander and the Problem of the Earth’s Immobility” at the inaugural meeting of the Society in Rochester, NY, in 1953. A revised version was published in John P. Anton & George Kustas, eds. 1971. Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy vol. 1, SUNY, 111-118.

R. K. Sprague writes about this session as follows:

“The meeting was a great success. The paper (on Anaximander) was excellent and we had some good discussion. Mr. Kaiser (a friend of Gregory Vlastos) was chairman for that part and Mr. Vlastos ran the business meeting. We finally decided to be called the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy and he (GV) and I were elected President and Secretary, also program committee. We were initially called the Presocratic Society! We didn’t start with the Classicists until later.”