This book is not the history of philosophy, nor the history of science. It is a history of extremely „subversive“ questions that cause us to think about the world and about our beliefs. This is also the meaning of Rovelli's book, in which science and philosophy are associated precisely because of the ability to continually set new questions, thus determining the progress of science. And that begins with Anaximander.
Writing about Anaximander as the first scientist, Rovelli eloquently and complexly contemplates the nature of scientific thought. By engaging in a contemporary philosophical discussion of the nature of science, he sees a prominent feature of scientific thought in the awareness of our total ignorance and suspicion in existing knowledge as well as the constant re-examination of our cognitive mechanisms.
In a time in which signs of perfidious obscurantism are visible, Rovelli offers us a strong and passionate defense of the freedom of thought, and the book deals with great subjects – science and democracy, doubt as the basis of knowledge, controversy with cultural relativism, science and faith – Inspired by this extraordinary adventure of Anaximander’s critical thought.


Scientific thought is a systematic exploration of new ways of knowing the world, and the challenge is to free it from the world of mythical-religious ideas that have determined the way in which humanity contemplates for centuries, or consider the possibility of knowing the world without invoking one or more gods.
Scientific thought, as a critical revision of steady knowledge, an open possibility of rebellion against any strong conviction, the ability to explore new and more effective visions of the world, is an important chapter in the history of human civilization. This chapter begins with Anaximander and we’re in it now, wanting to see where we are going.

Carlo Rovelli


Carlo Rovelli (1956) is an Italian theoretical physicist and writer. He was educated in the Italian universities, and after achieving a doctorate, he worked at the University of Rome and universities in the United States. He lives in France and works in the Luminy centre for theoretical physics at the University of Marseilles. Quantum gravity is his area of interest, he is one of the founders of the loop quantum gravity theory, but is also interested in history and the philosophy of science. Foreign policy magazine included him in a list of a hundred most influential global thinkers. He is the author of more than 200 research papers published in leading science magazines and several books of which most notable are Quantum gravity, What if Time didn't exist? and Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. The First Scientist: Anaximander and his Legacy is a second Rovelli's book published by TIM press.

  • ISBN: 978-953-8075-61-2
  • Dimensions: 128x200 mm
  • Number of pages: 248
  • Cover: paperback
  • Year of the edition: 2019
  • Original title: Che cos'è la scienza. La rivoluzione di Anassimandro
  • Original language: Italian
  • Translation: Jelena Butković