more from Democritus

Single Idea 1536

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

Full Idea

If a cone is cut parallel to the base are the two new surfaces equal or unequal? If they are unequal, the cone must have gone up in steps. If they are equal then the cone must have been a cylinder, which is absurd.


Seems to be a proof of atomism

Gist of Idea

If a cone is horizontally sliced the surfaces can't be equal, so it goes up in steps


Democritus (fragments/reports [c.431 BCE], B155), quoted by Plutarch - 72: Against Stoics on common Conceptions 1079e1

Book Reference

'The First Philosophers', ed/tr. Waterfield,Robin [OUP 2000], p.188