Ideas of Diogenes (Apoll), by Theme

[Greek, c.480 - 420 BCE, Born in Apollonia, in Crete. A doctor. Lived in Athens for a while.]

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1. Philosophy / B. History of Ideas / 2. Ancient Thought
Diogenes of Apollonia was the last natural scientist
     Full Idea: Diogenes of Apollonia was more or less the last of those who made a study of natural science.
     From: report of Diogenes (Apoll) (fragments/reports [c.440 BCE], A05) by Simplicius - On Aristotle's 'Physics' 9.25.1
     A reaction: He quotes Theophrastus
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 7. Indiscernible Objects
Each thing must be in some way unique
     Full Idea: No one thing among things subject to change can possibly be exactly like any other thing, without becoming the same thing.
     From: Diogenes (Apoll) (fragments/reports [c.440 BCE], B05), quoted by Simplicius - On Aristotle's 'Physics' 153.8
     A reaction: This is said to be the first ever formulation of the principle of identity of indiscernible.
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 2. Self-Evidence
Start a thesis with something undisputable
     Full Idea: In starting any thesis, it seems to me, one should put forward as one's point of departure something incontrovertible.
     From: Diogenes (Apoll) (fragments/reports [c.440 BCE], B01), quoted by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.57
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 6. Inference in Perception
Perception must be an internal matter, because we can fail to perceive when we are preoccupied
     Full Idea: That it is the inner air that perceives, as being a fragment of the god, is shown by the fact that often when our minds are preoccupied with other matters we fail to see or hear.
     From: report of Diogenes (Apoll) (fragments/reports [c.440 BCE], A19) by Theophrastus - On the Senses 42
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 1. Physical Mind
The older Diogenes said the soul is air, made of the smallest particles
     Full Idea: Diogenes [of Apollonia] took the soul to be air, thnking that of all things air is composed of the smallest particles and is a starting point.
     From: Diogenes (Apoll) (fragments/reports [c.440 BCE], DK 64), quoted by Aristotle - De Anima 405a21
     A reaction: This suggests that Diogenes of Apollonia was an atomist, if the soul is made of particles. See also Met 984a5, which says Anaxagoras had the same view.
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 2. Natural Purpose / a. Final purpose
Diogenes of Apollonia offered the first teleological account of cosmology
     Full Idea: Credit for the first clear assertion of teleological explanation in cosmology goes to Diogenes of Apollonia, for whom air is the divine and intelligent ground of the real and disposes things in the best possible way.
     From: report of Diogenes (Apoll) (fragments/reports [c.440 BCE]) by T.M. Robinson - Classical Cosmology (frags)
     A reaction: The first teleological explanation seems to be based on a conscious mind. There also emerges the possibility of some sort of non-conscious teleology, closer to the laws of physics than to God.
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 6. Early Matter Theories / c. Ultimate substances
Everything is ultimately a variation of one underlying thing
     Full Idea: It seems to me that all existing things are created by the alteration of the same thing, and are the same thing.
     From: Diogenes (Apoll) (fragments/reports [c.440 BCE], B02), quoted by Simplicius - On Aristotle's 'Physics' 151.31-
Air is divine, because it is in and around everything, and arranges everything
     Full Idea: Air in itself seems to me to be God and to reach everywhere and to arrange everything and to be in everything.
     From: Diogenes (Apoll) (fragments/reports [c.440 BCE], B05), quoted by Simplicius - On Aristotle's 'Physics' 152.22-
     A reaction: So water and fire and air have been offered as the ultimate explanans, though no one seems to offer earth, which is too grubby and miserable (and was denied a Form by Plato). 'Air is God' could ground a nice modern religious sect.
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 6. Early Matter Theories / f. Ancient elements
Plants and animals can only come into existence if something fixes their species
     Full Idea: No plant could grow out of the earth, and no animal or any other thing could come into being, unless it were so compounded as to be the same.
     From: Diogenes (Apoll) (fragments/reports [c.440 BCE], B02), quoted by Simplicius - On Aristotle's 'Physics' 151.31-
Things must retain their essential nature during change, or mixing would be impossible
     Full Idea: If any existing thing were different in its own essential nature, and were not the same thing which was transformed in many ways and changed, in no way could things mix with one another.
     From: Diogenes (Apoll) (fragments/reports [c.440 BCE], B02), quoted by Simplicius - On Aristotle's 'Physics' 151.31-