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Simply double-click the downloaded file to install it. You can choose your language settings from within the program. Clusters of different shapes, arrangements, and positions give rise to the various macroscopic substances in the world. 19th century found experimental evidence were thought to be indivisible, and therefore were given the name “atom”, long used by the atomist philosophy. Parmenides denied the existence of motion, change and void. This conclusion, as well as the reasoning that led to it, may indeed seem baffling to the modern empirical mind, but Parmenides explicitly rejected sensory experience as the path to an understanding of the universe, and instead used purely abstract reasoning.
This in turn meant that motion is impossible, because there is no void to move into. Finally, he stated that the all encompassing Unity is unchanging, for the Unity already encompasses all that is and can be. Democritus accepted most of Parmenides’ arguments, except for the idea that change is an illusion. He believed change was real, and if it was not then at least the illusion had to be explained.
He thus supported the concept of void, and stated that the universe is made up of many Parmenidean entities that move around in the void. The void is infinite and provides the space in which the atoms can pack or scatter differently. The different possible packings and scatterings within the void make up the shifting outlines and bulk of the objects that organisms feel, see, eat, hear, smell, and taste. While organisms may feel hot or cold, hot and cold actually have no real existence. They are simply sensations produced in organisms by the different packings and scatterings of the atoms in the void that compose the object that organisms sense as being “hot” or “cold”. The work of Democritus only survives in secondhand reports, some of which are unreliable or conflicting. Much of the best evidence of Democritus’ theory of atomism is reported by Aristotle in his discussions of Democritus’ and Plato’s contrasting views on the types of indivisibles composing the natural world.
He argued that atoms just crashing into other atoms could never produce the beauty and form of the world. One part of that creation were the four simple bodies of fire, air, water, and earth. He postulated the geometric structure of the simple bodies of the four elements as summarized in the adjacent table. The points and edges of the octahedron and icosahedron were blunter and so these less mobile bodies were assigned to air and water. Since the simple bodies could be decomposed into triangles, and the triangles reassembled into atoms of different elements, Plato’s model offered a plausible account of changes among the primary substances. Aristotle considered the existence of a void, which was required by atomic theories, to violate physical principles. A piece of wet clay, when acted upon by a potter, takes on its potential to be an actual drinking mug.
Aristotle has often been criticized for rejecting atomism, but in ancient Greece the atomic theories of Democritus remained “pure speculations, incapable of being put to any experimental test. Granted that atomism was, in the long run, to prove far more fruitful than any qualitative theory of matter, in the short run the theory that Aristotle proposed must have seemed in some respects more promising”. Few of Epicurus’ writings survive and those that do reflect his interest in applying Democritus’ theories to assist people in taking responsibility for themselves and for their own happiness—since he held there are no gods around that can help them. He understood gods’ role as moral ideals. This scientific work in poetic form illustrates several segments of Epicurean theory on how the universe came into its current stage and it shows that the phenomena we perceive are actually composite forms. The atoms and the void are eternal and in constant motion. Atomic collisions create objects, which are still composed of the same eternal atoms whose motion for a while is incorporated into the created entity.
Human sensations and meteorological phenomena are also explained by Lucretius in terms of atomic motion. Some later philosophers attributed the idea that man created gods and that gods did not create man to Democritus. Some people think that we arrived at the idea of gods from the remarkable things that happen in the world. Newton, interpreted light as composed of minute particles emitted by substances and striking the eye.