Modern Reflections of Atomistic Physics by Aristotle and Marx Cover Image

Aristotelovo i Marksovo reflektovanje atomističke fizike
Modern Reflections of Atomistic Physics by Aristotle and Marx

Author(s): Željko Kaluđerović
Subject(s): Epistemology, Ancient Philosphy, 19th Century Philosophy, Marxism, Philosophy of Science
Published by: Филозофски факултет, Универзитет у Новом Саду
Keywords: Aristotle; Marx; Democritus; Epicurus; physics; atoms; void; causes; necessity; chance; swerve; weight;

Summary/Abstract: In this paper the author analyses Aristotle’s and Marx’s explanations of the basic parameters of atomistic physics, particularly Democritus’ specific theory of atoms and void. Actually, different historical and spiritual views of the two philosophers also determine their differentiated attitudes towards major segments of atomism. When Aristotle’s insights are concerned, it can be concluded that on the one hand necessity and eternity of the motion of atoms, as well as the emancipation of Leucippus and Democritus from animistic and teleological interpretations characteristic for some of their predecessors, would make looking for the efficient and final cause in their learning unnecessary, but, on the other hand, their mentioning of atoms and void, especially of the dual and mixed nature of atoms, enables the Stagirites to look at the doctrine of the atomists from a perspective of his own material as well as the formal cause. In his thesis Marx, then, by comparing Democritus and Epicurus, destroys the common opinion that there is no essential difference between the physics of the two philosophers, and at the same time emphasizes what they have in common and that the principles, atoms and void, are undoubtedly the same. The author, finally, is on the standpoint that Marx’s dissertation is crucial for studying the philosophy of nature of the two thinkers, especially the part on Epicureans, primarily because it elaborately presents the major results of investigation of complex issues, and, secondly because it seriously and scientifically discloses the relation between Democritus and Epicurus, as well as the uniqueness and originality of the latter philosopher.

  • Issue Year: 2007
  • Issue No: 7
  • Page Range: 63-79
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Serbian