Philosophy Index


Anaximenes (approx. 585–528 BCE) was a pre-Socratic philosopher of ancient Greece. He was a student of the Milesean school in Ionia.

He was probably a younger student who studied alongside Anaximander, though he may have been Anaximander’s student.

As with the other Milesean philosophers, Anaximenes sought to identify the primary fundamental element of nature. He argued that air (aer) was this element, based on the fact that matter seems to be able to condense and expand into different forms. He took Anaximander’s descriptions of the cycles of hot and cold, wet and dry and used them to describe the changing of air into light and dense. The air of the atmosphere was light, expanded air. Harder materials were really condensed air.


Name: αναξιμενης (Anaximenes)
Born: ~585 BCE
Died: ~528 BCE