Aristotle: Critic or Pioneer of Atomism?

Aristotle is typically construed as a critic of atomism. He was indeed a critic of atomism of the extreme kind formulated by Democritus, according to which bulk matter is made of nothing other than unchangeable pieces of universal matter possessing shape and size and capable of motion in the void. However, there is a weaker kind of atomism involving the assumption that macroscopic substances have least parts which have properties sufficient to account for the properties of the bulk substances that they are least parts of. Insofar as atomism has been vindicated by modern science, it is the weaker version of atomism that has proved to be profitable. The beginnings of the weaker version of atomism are to be found in Aristotle. Far from being an opponent of atomism, there is a sense in which Aristotle was one of its pioneers.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(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

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,944
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

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Atomism's Eleatic Roots.David Sedley - 2008 - In Patricia Curd & Daniel W. Graham (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Presocratic Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Russellian and Wittgensteinian Atomism.Paul M. Livingston - 2001 - Philosophical Investigations 24 (1):30-54.
Aristotle and the Atomists on Motion in a Void.David J. Furley - 1976 - In Peter K. Machamer & Robert G. Turnbull (eds.), Motion and Time, Space and Matter. Ohio State University Press. pp. 83--100.
Islamic Atomism and the Galenic Tradition.Tzvi Langermann - 2009 - History of Science 47 (3):277-295.
Wittgenstein's Logical Atomism.Ian Proops - 2004 - Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (65):374-376.
The Significance of "Chymical Atomism".William Newman - 2009 - Early Science and Medicine 14 (1-3):248-264.


Added to PP index

Total views
15 ( #694,353 of 2,498,146 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #427,476 of 2,498,146 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes