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Creationism and Its Critics in Antiquity$
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David Sedley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520253643

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520253643.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2019

The Atomists

The Atomists

Chapter:
(p.133) V The Atomists
Source:
Creationism and Its Critics in Antiquity
Author(s):

David Sedley

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520253643.003.0005

Atomism was to become an important weapon against divine creation in the hands of Democritus' eventual heir, Epicurus. Epicurus' eyes have the incalculable merit of freeing from those consequences by permitting readers to account for the world and its contents as the products of mere accident, freed from the specter of divine control to recognize the truth of atomism. Greek atomism delights atoms and void alone as the primary realities, and relegates intelligence to a secondary status: intelligence, along with color, flavor, and innumerable other attributes, is among the properties that supervene on complex structures of atoms and void. The atoms themselves are inanimate particles and the void of their negative counterpart, possessing only material properties such as size, shape, location, and density. Once atoms have formed a world and its contents, intelligent organisms may well be generated out of these.

Keywords:   atomism, Epicurus, Democritus, atoms, intelligence

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