Philosophical Effects of Atomic ThoughtJune 26, 2021
Atomic thought passed to Gassendi (1592-1655) and Bacon (1561-1626) through Epicurus (341-370 BC) and Lucretius (94-51 BC) and helped in the birth of modern natural science.
Epicurus’ philosophy differs from Democritus’ philosophy in 4 points:
1) Atoms have weights in Epicurus.
2) Epicurus rejects the idea that atoms are of different sizes and shapes, as it would lead to divisibility.
3) Epicurus opposes determinism in Democritus. According to him, as atoms fall down, they can deviate from their path, which is against determinism.
4) Again, there is a coincidence in nature due to the conditions in the 3rd article.
Gassendi brought up the views of Epicurus in the 17th century. Gassendi, who supports atomism, says with a different materialist understanding that God exists, but his existence is also material. Accordingly, nature and god can be explained as mechanical and mathematical (Gassendi is also a mathematician).
According to Bacon, who discarded the final (purpose) reasons from physics, the philosophy of Democritus is a more correct and sound philosophy than the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle in this sense. In Bacon, he advocated a materialist and mechanistic point of view.
Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Grade 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook