The School of Leucippus and Atomism

analytical Essay
1118 words
1118 words

Atomism originated in the school of Leucippus, which was located in Abdera, Thrace, by none other than Leucippus himself. However, the biggest flag bearer for this particular philosophy was Democritus, a student who was taught directly by Leucippus, who worked closely with Leucippus on the theories behind atomism. Democritus took the workings of his teacher and popularizing them, taking the ideas of atomism and put them into the philosophical sphere to be picked over by other great minds such as Plato and his followers,, and many others throughout the ages. The two basic ideas of atomism are the atom, a word which comes from the Greek word “atomos” meaning uncuttable. All atoms are uniform in size and form with no fluctuating properties. The second tenant of atomism is known as the void which, as the name suggests, is the lack of any matter and is the emptiness that atoms interact within. These two ideas are the foundations for atomistic ideas that were then expanded upon with each philosopher adding there own take on how atoms interacted with each other and with macroscopic beings. Through out its existence atomism led to much more than a debate on the composition of the universe. Atomism also led to discussions on how people and the universe interact on a daily basis and how that interaction affected a person’s life by showing the role of the atom in everything from taste of our food to the color of our shirt these were all explained with atoms. Atomism was even woven into debates such as the reality of reality and the legitimacy of knowledge.

Democritus was a student of Leucippus the original atomist during the pre-Socratic era of philosophy. Democritus in his teachings of atomism postulated that atoms were indivisible and wer...

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...curate such as the existence of atoms and that the configuration of those atoms can change things on the macroscopic level. However, there are some aspects that do not hold up so well when under the scrutiny of the modern eye such as the belief that all atoms are the same or that atoms will never fuse or the fact that atoms are indivisible. Yet, it is impressive that philosophers were able to get as far as they did without modern technology using nothing but their brains and discussion among themselves. So while the science may not be sound the theories and ideas of Democritus are still impressive to this day and deserve their in the sun.

Works Cited

"Ancient Atomism." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford, Aug.-Sept. 2005. Web.

Freeman, Kathleen, and Hermann Diels. Ancilla to The Pre-Socratic Philosophers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1966. Print.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that atomism originated in the school of leucippus, which was located in abdera, thrace. democritus took the workings of his teacher and popularized them.
  • Explains that democritus was a student of leucippus the original atomist during the pre-socratic era of philosophy.
  • Analyzes how atomism challenged zeno's paradox by stating that atoms are always present, however, depending on their interaction within the cluster they can change their macroscopic appearance and properties.
  • Analyzes how democritus claims that the only real things in the universe are unchanging atoms and voids, which challenge the idea of empiricism.
  • Analyzes the foresight of democritus' philosophy, which shows the innovation humans can achieve with merely thought and observation, and the desire to answer questions in their entirety.
  • Describes freeman, kathleen, and hermann diels' ancilla to the pre-socratic philosophers.
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