Abdera School (Abdera)

Abdera School (Abdera)

July 1, 2021 Off By Felso

The Abdera School is a school of philosophy founded by Leucippus and Democritus, also known as the “Abderians”, who advocated the atomist doctrine in Ancient Greek philosophy. The name of the school “Abdera” is derived from the city of Abdera, which is located near Western Thrace today.

Leucippus and Democritus, who are considered to be the founders and first defenders of atomism, are known as “Abdera Philosophers”. This school, also known as the “Abderanians” in the history of philosophy, played an active role in one of the three important phases of the development of atomism. This stage is the period of atomism, which is called materialist atomism, and which was laid on solid foundations by Leucippus and especially Democritus.

The atomist doctrine of Abdera Philosophers reached Gassendi and Bacon through Epicurus and Lucretius; thus contributed greatly to the birth of the modern natural sciences.

Abdera Ancient City

The philosophers called “Abdera Thinkers” are Democritus and Leucippus, the thought leaders of ancient atomism. They are also called “the people of Abdera”. Abdera; It is the name of a city in Western Thrace, near Xanthi. Although the first of these two famous thinkers was from Teos and the second from Miletus, the fact that they both lived and worked in Abdera caused them to be called “Abderanians”.


Leucippus is a contemporary of Anaxagoras. He came to Abdera and founded a school and raised the young Democritus, who migrated there like himself. In other words, Democritus became a student of Leucippus. Both thinkers are considered the founders of the idea of ​​”atomism”.

Since little is known about the life and thoughts of Leucippus, historians of philosophy examine the teachings of these two thinkers indiscriminately. Some historians of philosophy count Anaxagoras and Empedocles as members of the Abdera School, along with Leucippus and Democritus. Although Empedocles was from Sicily and Anaxagoras was from Izmir, his materialist and atomist ideas unite them with Leucippus and Demetritus. The Thinkers of Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and Abdera form three important parts of Ancient Greek atomism. However, materialist atomism gained its solid structure in the thoughts of Leucippus and Democritus.

The thought structure of the Abdera School is based on the Ionian School and is completely opposed to the Elea School.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım