The Understanding of the Universe in Atomist PhilosophyJune 26, 2021
According to Democritus, the universe has no creator, so the universe is unlimited in time and immutable in substance.
Things that are happening now have no beginning, usually from eternity in ‘necessity’ simply everything, what has been, is, and will be, pre-exists. Since everything, that is, atoms, was not created, it can be said that nothing was created necessarily.
Leucippus and Democritus argue that cosmos infinite in terms of multiplicity are formed by the combination of atoms that are infinite in terms of multiplicity in an infinite void. According to a student of Democritus:
(As cited by Aristotle) To admit that there is only one cosmos in eternity is as absurd as saying that only one ear grows in a large field. Also, according to the same source, the intervals of the cosmos are not equal, in some places they are more, in some places they are less. Their extinction is due to their collision with each other.
According to Democritus, the worlds are formed like this: Individual atom types, various in shape, fall into the great void within infinity, they all form a single whirlwind, they collide with each other with this whirlwind, and while they turn around in various shapes, the likes separate and come together. Since they cannot turn to some extent due to their multiplicity, they go through the outer space as if they have been sifted; the others stay together, knit with each other, move together and form a spherical system. As it can be understood from here, Democritus’ view of the universe is an absolutely determinist view of the universe. In other words, in his view, the state of the universe at a given moment emerges as a necessary consequence of the previous state of the universe.
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