Leucippus


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Leucippus

(lo͞osĭp`əs), 5th cent. B.C., Greek philosopher. Aristotle believed that Leucippus inspired the atomistic theory with which Democritus is identified. Little is known about Leucippus.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Leucippus

 

(fifth century B.C.), ancient Greek materialist philosopher. One of the founders of ancient atomism.

Very little is known about the life of Leucippus. He was a contemporary of Zeno of Elea, Empedocles, and Anaxagoras. His birthplace is considered to be Miletus, Elea, or Abdera. He probably taught in Abdera, where his student Democritus lived. Democritus created a complete atomic theory; as a philosopher, he totally overshadowed his teacher. The works of Leucippus have not been preserved.

At the same time as Empedocles and Anaxagoras, Leucippus advanced the idea of the plurality of elements in all that exists. He upheld Parmenides’ idea of the immutability and qualitative uniformity of that which exists. In order to explain the diversity of objects, Leucippus affirmed the existence of relative nonbeing, that is, the presence of a void that divides all existing things into a multiplicity of elements. The properties of these elements depend on the void space that limits them. Although they differ in shape, size, and movement, all elements are viewed as uniform, continuous, and therefore indivisible (atomoi). Consistent with the teachings of the philosophers of the Ionic school, Leucippus believed movement to be an internal, inherent property of atoms. It appears that certain aspects of atomistic cosmology, later developed by Democritus, may be attributed to Leucippus.

REFERENCES

Makovel’skii, A. O. Drevnegrecheskie atomisty. Baku, 1946.

V. P. GAIDENKO

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Leucippus

youth disguised as girl to be near Daphne; killed upon discovery. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 150]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Leucippus

5th century bc. Greek philosopher, who originated the atomist theory of matter, developed by his disciple, Democritus
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Ancient atomist philosophers such as Epicurus (see Acts 17:18), Lucretius (whose poem Stenger devotes considerable attention to), Leucippus, and Democritus are discussed with respect to both their science and their religious worldviews.
(106.) For example, fifth century philosopher Leucippus's conception of the atom, based solely on his personal reasoning, was relied on in building more scientific theories even though it was not based on observational experiment or verified by a microscope.
According to Leucippus (around 450 BC) everything comes into existence due to a reason compulsorily.
(34.) See Leucippus A 29-30 DK; Democritus A 77, A 135, B 123 DK; cf.
Interestingly, in place of Heraclitus we are given Leucippus, a Greek atomist who was at home as much with the empty as with the full, and for whom turbulence and complexity are the occasion of "what there is," the whirling from which nothing escapes even while everything comes and goes:
Liebnizean theory, it may be observed reminds us of Greek atomists, Democritus and Leucippus, with one difference that atoms are material whereas monads are spiritual in nature.
The first recorded conjectures about the plurality of worlds are credited to the Greeks Leucippus and Democritus in the 5th century BC.
Consequently, no-one in this Companion does much with the point, surely quite central to understanding Aristotle's works on nature, that it is the atomists Leucippus and Democritus who are the primary targets of much of his fundamental physics and cosmology.
Asclepios, also known by his Roman name Aesculapius, is the classical god of healing, son of Apollo and a mortal mother, either Coronis, daughter of Phlegyas, or Arsinoe, daughter of Leucippus. (15) Although the snake-entwined rod is his most characteristic attribute, the serpent and staff are often separate attributes of Aesculapius in classical texts and statuary.
In his 1939 essay "The Total Library" Borges traced the evolution of the idea of a library of all possible books from ancient arguments about whether chance could generate order from disorder (Leucippus, Democritus, Aristotle, Cicero), through the conception that knowledge could be created by mechanically combining properties, logical propositions, of words (Llull, Pascal, Swift) to the idea that all possible works of literature could be found among all possible combinations of letters and spaces (Gustav Fechner, Lewis Carroll, Kurd Lasswitz, Theodor Wolff).
Leucippus and Democritus decide that matter is made of atoms, fifth century B.C.

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