The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

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This article treats several problems in Epicurean atomic theory, including how atoms rebound (the answer is that they must keep moving at a uniform speed and simply move in another direction when impeded), the role of minima in defining the boundaries of an atom and accounting for its impenetrability and why adjacent atoms do not merge, and the explanation of atomic weight as a tendency of atoms emerging from collisions to move in a preferred direction, which is by definition “down.”


David Konstan presented “Problems in Epicurean Physics” to the Society at its meeting with the American Philological Association in New York City in 1976. A revised version was published in Isis 70.3 (1979) 394-418 and reprinted in John P. Anton & Anthony Preus, eds.1983. Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy, vol. 2. SUNY, 431-464.

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