Early Greek Philosophy by John Burnet, with Burnet's notes
171. Leucippus and Democritus 173. Leucippus and the Eleatics

From Chapter IX., Leukippos of Miletos

172. Theophrastus on the Atomic Theory
Theophrastos wrote of Leukippos as follows in the First Book of his Opinions:

Leukippos of Elea or Miletos (for both accounts are given of him) had associated with Parmenides in philosophy. He did not, however, follow the same path in his explanation of things as Parmenides and Xenophanes did, but, to all appearance, the very opposite (R. P. 185). They made the All one, immovable, uncreated, and finite, and did not even permit us to search for what is not; he assumed innumerable and ever-moving elements, namely, the atoms. And he made their forms infinite in number, since there was no reason why they should be of one kind rather than another, and because he saw that there was unceasing becoming and change in things. He held, further, that what is is no more real than what is not, and that both are alike causes of the things that come into being; for he laid down that the substance of the atoms was compact and full, and he called them what is, while they moved in the void which he called what is not, but affirmed to be just as real as what is. R. P. 194.

Created for Peithô's Web from Early Greek Philosophy by John Burnet, 3rd edition (1920). London: A & C Black Ltd. Burnet's footnotes have been converted to chapter endnotes. Greek unicode text entered with Peithô's Younicoder.
Web design by Larry Clark and RSBoyes (Agathon). Peithô's Web gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Anthony Beavers in the creation of this web edition of Burnet. Please send comments to:
agathon at classicpersuasion