Single Idea 20901

[catalogued under 7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / a. Nature of Being]

Full Idea

In response to defenders of the One, Democritus says that what is, in the proper sense, is being that is completely full, but that such a being is not one, but that they are unlimited in number and invisible because of the smallness of their masses.

Gist of Idea

True Being only occurs when it is completely full, with atoms and no void


report of Democritus (fragments/reports [c.431 BCE], A007) by Aristotle - Coming-to-be and Passing-away (Gen/Corr) 325a28

Book Reference

Democritus: 'Early Greek Phil VII: Democritus', ed/tr. Laks,A/Most,G [Harvard Loeb 2016], p.91

A Reaction

Democritus is in a tangle here. He says proper being has no void, having apparently conceded that motion needs void (which he admits is non-existent). So true being only occurs when everything grinds to a halt, which is not now. But Idea 20902.

Related Ideas

Idea 20900 Defenders of the One say motion needs the void - but that is not part of Being [Parmenides, by Aristotle]

Idea 20902 Being does not exist more than non-being [Democritus, by Aristotle]