Philosophia 45 (1):76-99 (2015)

Michael J. Augustin
Purdue University
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 is Aëtius 1.3.18. It apparently denies weight as a property of the atoms, and supposedly describes the atoms when they are outside of a κόσμος. I argue against this interpretive solution by demonstrating, first, that Aëtius 1.3.18 does not deny that weight is a property of the atoms. Second, I argue that the report does not describe the atoms when they are outside of a κόσμος. Although these are largely negative conclusions, I contend that we are not left without a solution to the present interpretive difficulty. Once our testimonia concerning weight in early Greek atomism are examined thoroughly, it is clear that there is no conflict among them.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Presocratic Philosophy.Patricia Curd - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Composition of Reasons.Campbell Brown - 2014 - Synthese 191 (5):779-800.
Russellian and Wittgensteinian Atomism.Paul M. Livingston - 2001 - Philosophical Investigations 24 (1):30-54.
John Wyclif's Atomism.Emily Michael - 2009 - In Christophe Grellard & Aurélien Robert (eds.), Atomism in Late Medieval Philosophy and Theology. Brill. pp. 9--183.
The Greek Atomists and Epicurus.Cyril Bailey - 1931 - New York: Russell & Russell.
Greek Atomism and the One and the Many.Lillian Unger Pancheri - 1975 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 13 (2):139-144.
Wittgenstein's Logical Atomism.Ian Proops - 2004 - Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (65):374-376.
Atomism's Eleatic Roots.David Sedley - 2008 - In Patricia Curd & Daniel W. Graham (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Presocratic Philosophy. Oxford University Press.


Added to PP index

Total views
79 ( #120,276 of 2,348,754 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
31 ( #22,723 of 2,348,754 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes