Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(2,231 words)

1. Ancient precursors

The Ancient Greek word á-tomos, from which the term atom is derived, means “indivisible” or “not cutable.” An atomic philosophy was devised in the 5th century by the Presocratics Leucippus and Democritus, who postulated the existence of atoms and empty space or void as the principles of all things, underlying all change. Their atoms are homogeneous, differin…

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Johnson, Monte, “Atomism”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 26 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_017173>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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