• Founders: Leucippus and Democritus
  • About 440BC
  • answer to monism and pluralism
  • they believed everything is composed of atoms, which are physically but not geometrically indivisible
  • between the atoms there is empty space, they are indestructable, they always have been, always will be in motion
  • infinite number of and kinds of atoms
  • differences in shape and size
  • determinists, though they were criticised because people thought it was up to change
  • “nuahgt happens for nothing, but everything from a ground and of necessity”
  • attempted to explain the world without introducting the notion of purpose or final cause.
  • all causal explanations must have an arbitrary beginning (teleological or mechanistic)
  • Parminedes: “you say there is the void, therefore the void is not nothing; therefore it is not the void”
  • Atomist response was that motion is a fact of experience and therefore there must be a void, however difficult it may be to conceive
    • distinguish between matter and space
      • space is not nothing, but is of the nature of a receptacle
    • Descartes: Extension is the essence of matter, therefore there is matter everything (extension as adjective)
    • Leibniz: space is merely a system of relations; modesrn science agrees.
    • events are the stuff of the world, things are just collections of events
    • Bertrand thinks that afterwards (even plato and socrates) were too obsessed with the human rather than the universe itself