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Lucretius: atoms and opinions

By Alan L. Mackay

Abstract

It is argued that the scientific programme most clearly articulated by Lucretius is still appropriate today, although it continues to represent a minority view of the world. In 'De rerum natura' Lucretius formulated the goals of explaining, without religious or supernatural assumptions, the properties of all living and non-living things in terms of the emergent properties of atoms. We examine five topics: atoms - structure underlies function; group theory and the breakdown of exact equivalence; the emergence of complex properties from simple units; the parallel between letters (of the alphabet) and atoms in the building of complex structures; and the coming coalescence of the mental and physical worlds

Topics: bcs
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Year: 1990
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.bbk.ac.uk.oai2:289
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