Journal of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, No. 8 December 2016

Original scientific paper

Željko Kaluđerović   ORCID icon ; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia 

pages 67-83
08_05_Kaluderovic PDF


The author reviews the various modalities of access to the only surviving Anaximander’s fragment (DK12B1). The paper, first of all, explores possible definitions of the key concept of his philosophy to ápeiron, which generally range from ápeiron being
‘something in between’ elements, to the one that it is ‘a mixture’ of all the elements. In addition the topic is being discussed of whether the ápeiron is something that is ‘spatially boundless’, or is it something that is ‘qualitatively indefinite’. The author, on the trail of Aristotle’s trail, analysed whether ‘the boundless’ is purely a monistic principle, or whether Anaximander since being placed in a group of philosophers together with Empedocles, Anaxagoras and Democritus, is situated as someone who could no longer speak of a single principle of everything. The author concludes that, regardless of doubts and disagreements among commentators over the nature of ápeiron, it is certain that Anaximander’s ‘the boundless’ should be interpreted as matter and classified into the so called category of material causes. The author, at the same time, examines the possible implications of the first registered use of the term díkē, as well as its form with the negative particle adikía, in the after mentioned fragment of second Milesian philosopher. For Anaximander justice was not exclusively linked to the human sphere, nor did it represent something that only exists in it. Justice also has its cosmic dimension, being presented as a link and correlation of oppositions that maintain the principle of measure. While there is equilibrium of oppositions the order is maintained, the justice is maintained. When it is disrupted the era of injustice occurs, or as Anaximander puts it, the era of ‘providing justice and compensation’. Understanding of justice with Anaximander, finally, indicates the dimension of arithmetic equality, anticipating its special form which will then be called equalizing justice.


Anaximander; to ápeiron; principle; oppositions; kósmos; justice; compensation