more from Democritus

Single Idea 20908

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

Full Idea

Democritus say that it is possible that there exists an atom of the size of the world.

Gist of Idea

There could be an atom the size of the world


report of Democritus (fragments/reports [c.431 BCE], A047) by Pseudo-Plutarch - On the Doctrine of the Philosophers 1.12.6

Book Reference

Democritus: 'Early Greek Phil VII: Democritus', ed/tr. Laks,A/Most,G [Harvard Loeb 2016], p.117

A Reaction

The editor says this may have been a criticism of Democritus - presumably a reductio ad absurdum. But Democritus has no upper limit on the size of an atom. It challenges the imagination to treat such a huge thing as indivisible.