Leucippus, Democritus and the οὐ μα̑λλον Principle: An Examination of Theophrastus "Phys. Op." Fr. 8
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Phronesis 47 (3):253 - 263 (2002)
This paper is a piece of detective work. Starting from an obvious excrescence in the transmitted text of Simplicius's treatment of the foundations of Presocratic atomism near the beginning of his "Physics" commentary, it excavates a Theophrastean correction to Aristotle's tendency to lump Leucippus and Democritus together: Theophrastus made application of the οὐ μ[unrepresentable symbol]λλον principle in the sphere of ontology an innovation by Democritus. Along the way it shows Simplicius reordering his Theophrastean source in his efforts to find material which will strengthen the contrast between Leucippus's atomism and Eleatic metaphysics. And it argues that in doing so he all but obliterates Theophrastus's attempt to point up the Democritean credentials of the οὐ μ[unrepresentable symbol]λλον principle
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