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1 Atomism was devised by Leucippus and his student Democritus Democritus was born about 460 BC 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 1 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 - its a plenum 2 Thus the atomists tried to agree with Parmenides about everything except the number of real beings 3 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 indivisible Atoms have size shape and perhaps weight And they can move That is atoms have what have come to be called primary qualities As for such secondary qualities as color taste etc atoms do not have them - an atom cannot be yellow or salty 4 Democrituss atomistic universe atoms move about in the void empty space collide attach to others to form compounds These compounds can have secondary qualities but such qualities can be reduced to the primary qualities of their component atoms Cf 20A129 He makes sweet that which is round and good-sized astringent that which is large rough polygonal and not rounded sharp tasting as its name indicates that which is sharp in body and angular bent and not rounded pungent that which is round and small and angular and bent salty that which is angular and good-sized and crooked and
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