03 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.