CHRISTIANITY AND THE PROBLEM OF ORIGINS

CHRISTIANITY AND THE PROBLEM OF ORIGINS BY PHILIP EDGCUMBE HUGHES In principle the philosophers of antiquity do not after all appear to have been so wrong-headed in postulating some single universal element as the essence of all things, even though they were miS:taken in the substances to which they variously assigned this dignity. üf the p1'esocratic lonian philosophe1's, for example, THALES believed that water was the elementary substance of the material order, for since it was known to exist under different conditions not only in fluid but also in gaseous and solid forms it therefo1'e seemed tö be qualified to play the part of the universal material. ANAXIMENES, however, judged air to be the primordial substance, explaining the different densities of things, from wind and fire to stones, as the result of the differing degrees of rarefaction or condensation of the air from which they were supposedly formed. ANAXIMANDER, another early lonian, also maintained that there is a primitive stuff of things, hut that it was "neithe1' water nor any other of the so-called elements, but a nature different from them and infinite, from which arise alI the heavens and the wodds within them", and which he called "the limitless" ('to cX1mpov). The Ephesian http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophia Reformata Brill

CHRISTIANITY AND THE PROBLEM OF ORIGINS

Philosophia Reformata, Volume 26 (1-3): 59 – Feb 20, 1961

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 1961 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0031-8035
eISSN
2352-8230
DOI
10.1163/22116117-90001027
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

BY PHILIP EDGCUMBE HUGHES In principle the philosophers of antiquity do not after all appear to have been so wrong-headed in postulating some single universal element as the essence of all things, even though they were miS:taken in the substances to which they variously assigned this dignity. üf the p1'esocratic lonian philosophe1's, for example, THALES believed that water was the elementary substance of the material order, for since it was known to exist under different conditions not only in fluid but also in gaseous and solid forms it therefo1'e seemed tö be qualified to play the part of the universal material. ANAXIMENES, however, judged air to be the primordial substance, explaining the different densities of things, from wind and fire to stones, as the result of the differing degrees of rarefaction or condensation of the air from which they were supposedly formed. ANAXIMANDER, another early lonian, also maintained that there is a primitive stuff of things, hut that it was "neithe1' water nor any other of the so-called elements, but a nature different from them and infinite, from which arise alI the heavens and the wodds within them", and which he called "the limitless" ('to cX1mpov). The Ephesian

Journal

Philosophia ReformataBrill

Published: Feb 20, 1961

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