Atomists

Edited by Monte Johnson (University of California, San Diego)
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  1. Deleuze and Ancient Atomism.Yannis Chatzantonis - manuscript
    A brief survey of Deleuze’s writings on ancient atomism and on the concept of the atom in general. Deleuze’s treatment of atomism is significant because it makes clear Deleuze’s aim in shifting the mereological vocabulary from points to lines; it shows what, in Deleuze’s sense, it means to unground. In other words, it sets down the conditions for a successful Deleuzian critique of essentialist metaphysics of structure.
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  2. An Introduction to Pre-Socratic Ethics: Heraclitus and Democritus on Human Nature and Conduct (Part I: On Motion and Change).Erman Kaplama - 2021 - Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 17 (1):212-242.
    Both Heraclitus and Democritus, as the philosophers of historia peri phuseôs, consider nature and human character, habit, law and soul as interrelated emphasizing the links between phusis, kinesis, ethos, logos, kresis, nomos and daimon. On the one hand, Heraclitus’s principle of change (panta rhei) and his emphasis on the element of fire and cosmic motion ultimately dominate his ethics reinforcing his ideas of change, moderation, balance and justice, on the other, Democritus’s atomist description of phusis and motion underlies his principle (...)
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  3. The Ethical Maxims of Democritus of Abdera.Monte Johnson - 2020 - In David Wolfsdorf (ed.), Early Greek Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 211-242.
    Democritus of Abdera, best known as a cosmologist and the founder of atomism, wrote more on ethics than anyone before Plato. His work Peri euthumiês (On Contentment) was extremely influential on the later development of teleological and intellectualist ethics, eudaimonism, hedonism, therapeutic ethics, and positive psychology. The loss of his works, however, and the transmission of his fragments in collections of maxims (gnomai), has obscured the extent his contribution to the history of systematic ethics and influence on later philosophy, especially (...)
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  4. Meteorology.Monte Johnson - 2020 - In Liba Taub (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek and Roman Science. Cambridge, UK: pp. 160-184.
    Greco-Roman meteorology will be described in four overlapping developments. In the archaic period, astro-meteorological calendars were written down, and one appears in Hesiod’s Works and Days; such calendars or almanacs originated thousands of years earlier in Mesopotamia. In the second development, also in the archaic period, the pioneers of prose writing began writing speculative naturalistic explanations of meteorological phenomena: Anaximander, followed by Heraclitus, Anaxagoras, and others. When Aristotle in the fourth century BCE mentions the ‘inquiry that all our predecessors have (...)
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  5. Why Did Aristotle Invent the Material Cause ? The Early Development of the Concept of Hê Hylê.Monte Ransome Johnson - 2020 - In Pierre Pellegrin & Françoise Graziani (eds.), L'HÉRITAGE D'ARISTOTE AUJOURD'HUI : NATURE ET SOCIÉTÉ. Alessandria: Editzioni dell'Orso. pp. 59-86.
    I present a developmental account of Aristotle’s concept of hê hylê (usually translated “the matter”), focused the earliest developments. I begin by analyzing fragments of some lost early works and a chapter of the Organon, texts which indicate that early in his career Aristotle had not yet begun to use he hylê in a technical sense. Next, I examine Physics II 3, a chapter in which Aristotle conceives of he hylê not as a kind of cause in its own right, (...)
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  6. Philosophy and Dietetics in the Hippocratic On Regimen: A Delicate Balance of Health. By Hynek Bartos. [REVIEW]Monte Ransome Johnson - 2020 - Ancient Philosophy 40 (1):221-227.
    Hynek Bartos does the field of ancient philosophy a great service by detailing the influence of early Greek thinkers (such as Heraclitus, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Democritus, and Diogenes of Apollonia) on the Hippocratic work On Regimen, and by demonstrating that work’s innovative engagement with contemporary scientific and philosophical concepts as well as its direct influence on Plato and Aristotle. His study usefully counteracts the lamentable tendency among ancient philosophers to ignore or downplay the influence of medical literature on philosophy in general, (...)
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  7. The Elementary Role of the So-Called Differences in the Atomism of Leucippus and Democritus.Gustavo Laet Gomes - 2019 - Prometheus 29:295-311.
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  8. On Democritean Rhysmos.Gustavo Laet Gomes - 2019 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 27:e02702.
    In _Metaphysics_ A.4, Aristotle provides crucial information about fundamental aspects of the chemistry and microphysics of the atomic theory of Leucippus and Democritus of Abdera. Besides the plenum and the void, which he identifies as the elements of the atomic theory, he presents what he himself names as _differences_. These fundamental differences are named so because they ought to be responsible for the emergence of all other differences in the physical world, and especially the ones that hit our senses. Aristotle (...)
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  9. Aristotle on Kosmos and Kosmoi.Monte Johnson - 2019 - In Phillip Horky (ed.), Cosmos in the Ancient World. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 74-107.
    The concept of kosmos did not play the leading role in Aristotle’s physics that it did in Pythagorean, Atomistic, Platonic, or Stoic physics. Although Aristotle greatly influenced the history of cosmology, he does not himself recognize a science of cosmology, a science taking the kosmos itself as the object of study with its own phenomena to be explained and its own principles that explain them. The term kosmos played an important role in two aspects of his predecessor’s accounts that Aristotle (...)
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  10. A química atomista de leucipo e demócrito no tratado sobre a geração e a corrupção de Aristóteles.Gustavo Laet Gomes - 2018 - Dissertation, UFMG, Brazil
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  11. Elementos no atomismo, segundo Aristóteles.Gustavo Laet Gomes - 2018 - Hypnos 41:146-165.
    In this paper, I discuss the use made by Aristotle of the term “element” when dealing with the atomist theory of Leucippus and Democritus. My goal is to verify which aspects of the atomist theory play the role of elements according to the definitions of Aristotle, who seems to have certain expectations regarding what can be designated as elements in the strict sense. One of them is the possibility of reciprocal transformation, the so-called “generation of elements”, which is the chemical (...)
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  12. O atomismo segundo Aristóteles: pluralismo ou monismo?Gustavo Laet Gomes - 2017 - Phaine: Revista de Estudos Sobre a Antigüidade 3 (2):56-79.
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  13. Atomismo ético de Leucipo e Demócrito.João Emanuel Diogo - 2016 - Boletim de Estudos Clássicos 61 (61):67-84.
    In this article, we start from the general thesis of theatomism – everything in the universe is composed by atoms – toassume an atomist reading of the ethical fragments of Democritus.If Leucippus and Democritus explain not only the beginning of the world, as well as the constitution of the soul and the body from therelation atom-emptiness (to be-not to be), this structure will also beapplied to the ethical maxims that we know. Despite this, the relationsoul-body is one of superiority (the (...)
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  14. Weight in Greek Atomism.Michael J. Augustin - 2015 - Philosophia 45 (1):76-99.
    The testimonia concerning weight in early Greek atomism appear to contradict one another. Some reports assert that the atoms do have weight, while others outright deny weight as a property of the atoms. A common solution to this apparent contradiction divides the testimonia into two groups. The first group describes the atoms within a κόσμος, where they have weight; the second group describes the atoms outside of a κόσμος, where they are weightless. A key testimonium for proponents of this solution (...)
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  15. Changing Our Minds: Democritus on What is Up to Us.Monte Johnson - 2014 - In Pierre Destrée, R. Salles & Marco Antonio De Zingano (eds.), Up to Us: Studies on Causality and Responsibility in Ancient Philosophy. Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag. pp. 1-18.
    I develop a positive interpretation of Democritus' theory of agency and responsibility, building on previous studies that have already gone far in demonstrating his innovativeness and importance to the history and philosophy of these concepts. The interpretation will be defended by a synthesis of several familiar ethical fragments and maxims presented in the framework of an ancient problem that, unlike the problem of free will and determinism, Democritus almost certainly did confront: the problem of the causes of human goodness and (...)
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  16. Nature, Spontaneity, and Voluntary Action in Lucretius.Monte Ransome Johnson - 2013 - In Daryn Lehoux, A. D. Morrison & Alison Sharrock (eds.), Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science. Oxford University Press.
    In twenty important passages located throughout De rerum natura, Lucretius refers to natural things happening spontaneously (sponte sua; the Greek term is automaton). The most important of these uses include his discussion of the causes of: nature, matter, and the cosmos in general; the generation and adaptation of plants and animals; the formation of images and thoughts; and the behavior of human beings and the development of human culture. In this paper I examine the way spontaneity functions as a cause (...)
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  17. Epicureanism by Tim O'Keefe. [REVIEW]Monte Johnson - 2012 - Aestimatio 9:108.
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  18. Democritus (C. 460 - C. 370 BCE).Monte Johnson - 2011 - Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism 136:257-259.
    Encyclopedia article on Democritus. Includes a brief overview of his philosophical views, major works, and critical reception.
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  19. Spontaneity, Democritean Causality and Freedom.Monte Ransome Johnson - 2009 - Elenchos 30 (1):5-52.
    Critics have alleged that Democritus’ ethical prescriptions (“gnomai”) are incompatible with his physics, since his atomism seems committed to necessity or chance (or an awkward combination of both) as a universal cause of everything, leaving no room for personal responsibility. I argue that Democritus’ critics, both ancient and contemporary, have misunderstood a fundamental concept of his causality: a cause called “spontaneity”, which Democritus evidently considered a necessary (not chance) cause, compatible with human freedom, of both atomic motion and human actions. (...)
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  20. Lucretius and the History of Science.Monte Ransome Johnson & Catherine Wilson - 2007 - In Stuart Gillespie & Philip R. Hardie (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Lucretius. Cambridge University Press.
    An overview of the influence of Lucretius poem On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura) on the renaissance and scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, and an examination of its continuing influence over physical atomism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
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  21. Atomismus.Monte Johnson - 2005 - In Jaeger Friedrich (ed.), Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit: Band 1 Abendland–Beleuchtung. Stuttgart: J.N.B. Metzler. pp. 783-789.
    Encyclopedia article briefly summarizing the history of atomism from antiquity to modernity.
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  22. Was Gassendi an Epicurean?Monte Ransome Johnson - 2003 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 20 (4):339 - 360.
    Pierre Gassendi was a major factor in the revival of Epicureanism in early modern philosophy, not only through his contribution to the restoration and criticism of Epicurean texts, but also by his adaptation of Epicurean ideas in his own philosophy, which was itself influential on such important figures of early modern philosophy as Hobbes, Locke, Newton, and Boyle (to name just a few). Despite his vigorous defense of certain Epicurean ideas and ancient atomism, Gassendi goes to great lengths to differentiate (...)
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  23. Francis Bacon and Atomism: A Reappraisal.Silvia Manzo - 2001 - In John Murdoch, Lüthy Cristoph & Newman William (eds.), Late Medieval and Early Modern Corpuscular Matter Theories. Brill. pp. 209-243.
    Francis Bacon’s theory of matter is a controversial topic among historians. I agree with the viewpoint, which suggests that although Bacon changed his views on atomism repeatedly, he never rejected it completely (Partington, Urbach, Gemelli). I will substantiate this interpretation by paying more attention to the usually neglected allegorical works and by investigating why Bacon changed his mind on atomism in his Novum organum. I shall reconstruct Bacon’s various opinions in chronological order to establish his final evaluation of atomism and (...)
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  24. The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy. [REVIEW]Monte Johnson - 2000 - Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2000 (03.12).
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  25. The Legacy of Parmenides. [REVIEW]Monte Johnson - 1999 - Bryn Mawr Classical Review 1999 (06.21).
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