3 - Atomism 1. Atomism was devised by Leucippus and his...

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Atomism 1. Atomism was devised by Leucippus and his student Democritus. Democritus was born about 460 B.C., which makes him about 40 years younger than Anaxagoras, and about 10 years younger than Socrates. Atomism is the final, and most successful, attempt to rescue the reality of the physical world from the fatal effects of Eleatic logic by means of a pluralistic theory. (Guthrie, vol. 2, p. 389) 2. Overview of atomism: a. Imagine each atom, taken by itself, as a Parmenidean unit . Each is indivisible . There is no differentiation between one part of an atom and another part. There is no empty space within an atom - it’s a plenum . b. Thus, the atomists tried to agree with Parmenides about everything except the number of real beings. c. Comparison with Anaxagoras and Empedocles: theirs was a qualitative pluralism. The atomists offered a quantitative pluralism. 3. Properties of atoms: each atom is uniform, homogeneous, colorless, tasteless, and indivisible. (We will inquire in a moment into precisely the sense in which atoms are
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2011 for the course PHYSICS 110 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '09 term at UC Davis.

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3 - Atomism 1. Atomism was devised by Leucippus and his...

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