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26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 6. Early Matter Theories / g. Atomism

[lowest level of matter is tiny indivisible parts]

40 ideas
'Full' and 'Void' secularised Parmenides's Being and Not-being [Democritus, by Heisenberg]
If only atoms are real and the rest is convention, we wouldn't bother to avoid pain [Democritus, by Diogenes of Oen.]
When atoms touch, why don't they coalesce, like water drops? [Aristotle on Democritus]
Atomists say there are only three differences - in shape, arrangement and position [Democritus, by Aristotle]
Because appearance is infinitely varied, atomists assume infinitely many shapes of atom [Democritus, by Aristotle]
Atoms are irregular, hooked, concave, convex, and many other shapes [Democritus, by Aristotle]
Atoms cling together, until a stronger necessity disperses them [Democritus, by Aristotle]
There could be an atom the size of the world [Democritus, by Ps-Plutarch]
There must be atoms, to avoid the absurdity of infinite division down to nothing [Democritus, by Aristotle]
The basic atoms are without qualities - which only arise from encounters between atoms [Democritus, by Galen]
Experiences are merely convention; only atoms and the void are real [Democritus]
If a cone is horizontally sliced the surfaces can't be equal, so it goes up in steps [Democritus]
We must consider the four basic shapes as too small to see, only becoming visible in large numbers [Plato]
Wood is potentially divided through and through, so what is there in the wood besides the division? [Aristotle]
If a body is endlessly divided, is it reduced to nothing - then reassembled from nothing? [Aristotle]
Bodies are endlessly divisible [Aristotle]
There exists an infinity of each shape of atom, but the number of shapes is beyond our knowledge [Epicurus]
Atoms just have shape, size and weight; colour results from their arrangement [Epicurus]
There cannot be unlimited division, because it would reduce things to non-existence [Epicurus]
Democritus says atoms have size and shape, and Epicurus added weight [Epicurus, by Ps-Plutarch]
Atoms don't swerve by being struck, because they move in parallel, so the swerve is uncaused [Cicero on Epicurus]
What causes atomic swerves? Do they draw lots? What decides the size or number of swerves? [Cicero on Epicurus]
Everything is created and fed by nature from atoms, and they return to atoms in death [Lucretius]
If an object is infinitely subdivisible, it will be the same as the whole universe [Lucretius]
In downward motion, atoms occasionally swerve slightly for no reason [Lucretius]
If only atoms exist, how do qualities arise when the atoms come together? [Plutarch]
How can things without weight compose weight? [Alexander]
Atoms are not points, but hard indivisible things, which no force in nature can divide [Gassendi]
How do mere atoms produce qualities like colour, flavour and odour? [Gassendi]
The corpuscles just have shape, size and motion, which explains things without 'sympathies' or 'forces' [Boyle, by Alexander,P]
There are atoms of substance, but no atoms of bulk or extension [Leibniz]
I think the corpuscular theory, rather than forms or qualities, best explains particular phenomena [Leibniz]
Atomism is irrational because it suggests that two atoms can be indistinguishable [Leibniz]
Things are infinitely subdivisible and contain new worlds, which atoms would make impossible [Leibniz]
The only simple things are monads, with no parts or extension [Leibniz]
Leibniz rejected atoms, because they must be elastic, and hence have parts [Leibniz, by Garber]
Microscopes and the continuum suggest that matter is endlessly divisible [Leibniz]
Epicurean atoms are distinguished by their extreme hardness [Garber]
The 17th century reintroduced atoms as mathematical modes of Euclidean space [Rowlands]
Atomists say causation is mechanical collisions, and all true qualities are microscopic [Pasnau]