more from Democritus

Single Idea 20899

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

Full Idea

Democritus thinks that the substances hold on to one another and remain together for a length of time until some stronger necessity arising from their surroundings shakes and disperses them.

Gist of Idea

Atoms cling together, until a stronger necessity disperses them


report of Democritus (fragments/reports [c.431 BCE], A037) by Aristotle - On Democritus (frag)

Book Reference

Democritus: 'Early Greek Phil VII: Democritus', ed/tr. Laks,A/Most,G [Harvard Loeb 2016], p.89

A Reaction

[quoted in Simplicius, Commentary on Aristotle's On the Heavens] He's not wrong. This seems to provide a mechanism for the Heracltean flux. Ancient critics wanted to know where the 'stronger necessity' came from.

Related Idea

Idea 15149 Properties cluster together, either because of intrinsic relations, or because of an underlying process [Boyd, by Chakravartty]