Single Idea 21669

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 6. Early Matter Theories / g. Atomism]

Full Idea

The swerve of Epicurus takes place without a cause; it does not take place in consequence of being struck by another atom, since how can that take place if they are indivisible bodies travelling perpendicularly in straight lines by the force of gravity?

Gist of Idea

Atoms don't swerve by being struck, because they move in parallel, so the swerve is uncaused


comment on Epicurus (fragments/reports [c.289 BCE]) by M. Tullius Cicero - On Fate ('De fato') 10.22

Book Reference

Cicero: 'On Fate, Stoic Paradoxes, Oratory', ed/tr. Rackham,H. [Harvard Loeb 1942], p.219

A Reaction

The swerve is the most ad hoc proposal in the history of theoretical physics. This is interesting for spelling out that the travel in vertical parallels. What's that all about, then?