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Epicurus on swerving atoms : a modern scientific appraisal

Show simple item record Kirby-Hirst, Mark 2012-03-08T12:32:03Z 2012-03-08T12:32:03Z 2009
dc.description.abstract In an effort to distance himself from the Democritan conception of the atomic particle, Epicurus posited three essential characteristics to explain the movement of atoms in the void — mass, velocity and something that has puzzled ancient and modern thinkers, called the klinamen. This occurrence was an hypothesized shift in the linear trajectory of an atom at an entirely unexpected and random point in time, and explains how compounds came to be formed in the Epicurean universe, where atoms fall unhindered in parallel to one another. I argue that the klinamen is not an entirely random occurrence but is instead a phenomenon predicated upon the laws of modern physics, the Newtonian laws of motion and gravitation in particular. I further posit that the klinamen is an entirely necessary aspect of the development of the universe from its initial origins of ‘atoms and void’ (Epicur. Phys. 1.13,14; Ep. Hdt. 39). en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Scientific appraisal en
dc.subject Epicurus en
dc.subject Serving atoms en
dc.title Epicurus on swerving atoms : a modern scientific appraisal en
dc.type Thesis en

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