<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-K3L4M3" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

More from Books

Why Anaximander deserves to be called ‘the first scientist’

A mere fragment survives of the Greek philosopher’s work, but other sources attest to his bold ideas about the universe, human evolution and the weather

4 March 2023

9:00 AM

4 March 2023

9:00 AM

Anaximander and the Nature of Science Carlo Rovelli

Allen Lane, pp.240, 16.99

It’s a daring thing to write a whole book about a man while confessing early on that ‘we know almost nothing of his readings, life, character, appearance or voyages’, and of whose writings only a three-line fragment survives. Luckily, as with many ancient authors, the works of the 6th-century BC philosopher Anaximander are described in subsequent treatises, and a resourceful writer can infer much from this evidence about what might have been ‘the first great scientific revolution in human history’.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Subscribe for just $2 a week

Try a month of The Spectator Australia absolutely free and without commitment. Not only that but – if you choose to continue – you’ll pay just $2 a week for your first year.

  • Unlimited access to spectator.com.au and app
  • The weekly edition on the Spectator Australia app
  • Spectator podcasts and newsletters
  • Full access to spectator.co.uk

Unlock this article


You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first month for free, then just $2 a week for the remainder of your first year.


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator Australia readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in