Single Idea 20922

[catalogued under 16. Persons / F. Free Will / 2. Sources of Free Will]

Full Idea

There is a free motion in the atoms, which Democritus did not discover, but which Epicurus brought to light, and which consists in a swerve, as he demonstrated on the basis of what is seen to be the case?

Gist of Idea

Epicurus showed that the swerve can give free motion in the atoms


report of Epicurus (fragments/reports [c.289 BCE]) by Diogenes (Oen) - Wall inscription 54.II-III

Book Reference

Democritus: 'Early Greek Phil VII: Democritus', ed/tr. Laks,A/Most,G [Harvard Loeb 2016], p.459

A Reaction

I presume the last bit means that we see that we have freedom of choice, and infer the swerve in the atoms as the only possible explanation. The worry for libertarians is, of course, who is in charge of the swerve.