An analysis of the atomism of democritus and epicurus

Several of the fragments that he quotes appear to express an extreme skepticism—for instance, "We know nothing truly about anything" Fr. Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Speculations in this direction were developed by the Italian physician, philosopher, and litterateur Julius Caesar Scaliger — He considers education to be the noblest of pursuits, but cautioned that learning without sense leads to error.

Although thought of as a hedonist because of his emphasis on the pursuit of pleasure, it would be a mistake to think of Epicurus as condoning a promiscuous or decadent lifestyle - an accusation leveled at him by the stoic philosopher Epictetus. For the atomists questions of physics should be answered with a mechanistic explanation "What earlier circumstances caused this event?

These worlds are not all alike, however; Democritus held that some worlds have no sun or moon and that some lack moisture and all forms of life Hippolytus, Refutatio I, 13, 2f. That water is a binary compound of hydrogen and oxygen, and the relative weights of the two elementary atoms are as 1: Leucippus was probably born at Miletus; reports associating him with Elea or Abdera should be taken as reflecting views concerning his philosophical affiliations rather than as reliable evidence for his birthplace.

It has confirmed the audacious rational speculations of ancient atomism, but at the same time it has revealed that, in order to be really effective, reason is in need of experimental assistance. This in turn led to further meetings at which the positivists again attacked the supposition that there were atoms.

In contrast, modern, quantum-mechanical atoms interact via electric and magnetic force fields and are far from inert. Mix water with soil and mud will result, seldom disintegrating by itself. Although Plato mentioned neither Leucippus nor Democritus, the Timaeus is markedly indebted to their thought.

Ambiguous as it is, Epicurus could not logically come to another conclusion without violating his earlier teachings. The unifying principle that would eventually lead to the acceptance of a hybrid corpuscular—atomism was mechanical philosophywhich became widely accepted by physical sciences.

Atomism in the strict sense is not merely one of the historical forms of atomism, one of the many possible scientific attempts at explaining certain physical phenomena; it is, first of all, a metaphysical system: Blog providing articles and introductory guides to Socionics, the theory of personality type.

Although this does not argue for indivisible lines per se, it is used to suggest that the objects of sense as well as those of thought must include things without parts.


The vortex is not an outside influence, but rather the motion of the atoms themselves. By supposing that the atoms form the lowest limit to division, the atomists escape from this dilemma: Even Aristotle, who rejected atomism outright, conceded that of all his predecessors Democritus was the most notable physicist.

Ancient Atomism

Then he is not omnipotent. Corpuscularianism was associated by its leading proponents with the idea that some of the properties that objects appear to have are artifacts of the perceiving mind: The atomists held that, like Being, as conceived by Parmenides, the atoms are unchangeable and contain no internal differentiation of a sort that would allow for division.

A fourth-century Pythagorean, Ecphantus, interpreted the Pythagorean monads as indivisible bodies: In this manner, for example, it was theorized that mercury could penetrate into metals and modify their inner structure, a step on the way towards transmutative production of gold.

Agostino Nifo —for example, explicitly stated that in a substance the minima naturalia are present as parts; they are physical entities that actually play a role in certain physical and chemical processes.

Because the same triangles can form into different regular solids, the theory thus explains how some of the elements can transform into one another, as was widely believed.Leucippus and Democritus were the earliest Greek atomists.

The originator of the atomic theory, Leucippus (fifth century BCE), must be considered a speculative thinker of the first order, but to Democritus (c. –c. BCE) must go the credit for working out the detailed application of the.

Atomism: Democritus and Epicurus In the Atomists, we see pluralism taken as far as it could possibly go. We see Democritus and Epicurus divide all the world, as well as the universe, into two categories; atoms and empty space.

- Epicurus Epicurus was a philosopher who was believed to be the one with all the answers to life. He encouraged the Ideal of Good Life, to live simple lives by seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.

Epicurus views worries as. One slight difference is that Democritus's atomism is deterministic whereas the atomism of Lucretius and Epicurus is random. The metaphysics of modernism In the second part, paradigm shifts in the nature of reality are addressed, including atomism, theories of light and heat, and quantum wavicles.

In essence, Epicurus follows Democritus' atomism, yet with one major modification. According to Epicurus, atoms in the void originally moved in undisturbed parallel lines. However, some atoms swerved from their course by a spontaneous act of free will. As early as the 5th century bce, atomism in the strict sense (Leucippus and Democritus) is found, along with various qualitative forms of atomism: that of Empedocles, based on the doctrine of the four elements, and that of Anaxagoras, with as many qualitatively different atoms as there are different substances.

An analysis of the atomism of democritus and epicurus
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