more from Democritus

Single Idea 20909

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

Full Idea

Democritus and the Epicureans posit that the first element is without quality, possessing by nature neither whiteness, blackness, sweetness or bitterness, warmth or cold. ...It is from the encounter of the atoms that all the sensible qualities come about.

Gist of Idea

The basic atoms are without qualities - which only arise from encounters between atoms


report of Democritus (fragments/reports [c.431 BCE], A049) by Galen - On Hippocrates and Plato 1.2

Book Reference

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

A Reaction

Idea 493 comes in the middle of this summary by Galen. Hence atoms play the role that substrates play in object-based metaphysics. So atoms have the same problem. Is the shape of an atom a quality of an atom. Or are qualities what atoms DO?

Related Idea

Idea 493 Experiences are merely convention; only atoms and the void are real [Democritus]