Atomism03 Oct 1994 12:00
Greek --- Democritus, the Epicureans. It developed independently in India --- was there any contact in Hellenistic times, or perhaps earlier? Strabo mentions one Moschus, a Phoenician "who lived before the Trojan War," as the first atomist --- is there any substance to this? Atomism in medieval Islam. European revival with the Renaissance. Boltzmann and statistical mechanics. Reductionism and emergent properties.
- To read:
- William R. Newman, Atoms and Alchemy: Chymistry and the Experimental Origins of the Scientific Revolution
- David Furley, The Greek Cosmologists, vol. I: The Formation of the Atomic Theory and Its Earliest Critics