atomism

(redirected from Atomists)
Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to Atomists: atomism, Sophists, Pythagoreans
  • noun

Synonyms for atomism

(psychology) a theory that reduces all mental phenomena to simple elements (sensations and feelings) that form complex ideas by association

(chemistry) any theory in which all matter is composed of tiny discrete finite indivisible indestructible particles

References in periodicals archive ?
The depreciated atomists had made the point clear by incurring the wrath of some of their celebrated fellows through having posited two different kinds of reality, the infinite void space (as non-being) and the numberless tiny corporeal substances, i.
The logical positivist and atomist accounts of science clearly ruled theology "unscientific.
This argument would have little purchase against a committed atomist, as Sedley himself admits: 'Aristotle's argument here is designed to convince Aristotelians, not atomists' (194).
The roots of their philosophical arguments lay explicitly in the writings of the Greek atomists Democritus (mid-fifth to fourth century BCE) and Epicurus (342-72 BCE).
The more exciting claims of this book include that early sixteenth century medical authors such as Girolamo Fracastoro and Jean Fernel were influenced by Ficino's theory of seeds--which ultimately derived from Plotinus--and that Gassendi's usage of the concept of seed derived as much from seventeenth-century alchemical writers as it did from the ancient atomists.
The genesis of the design argument goes back to the Socratics and especially to Aristotle; they opposed the pre-Socratics (the Atomists and their followers) who argued for a mechanical or chance foundation of nature.
Such people are by definition not atomists, however, for a cultural devotee is precisely someone who derives personal significance from vivifying and transmitting a tradition; and because they are not atomists, cultural devotees are not members of a hypothetical cosmopolis either.
Not only was aisthesis understood by the pre-Socratics as sense perception, but its various processes were bound up with the sense of touch: for instance, for Empedocles, all sense perception depends on an object's effluence through the pores and passages of the sense organ, while for the atomists a visual image is formed when a series of moist airy particles permeates the surface of the eye (Kirk, Raven, and Schofield 1983, 309-10,428).
This mechanical view of the universe can be traced back to the Greek atomists, but due to the dominance of Aristotelianism, it never entered mainstream scientific thought until the seventeenth century.
He also takes pains not to patronize their sometimes outrageous speculations: while the debates about the arche or origin of all nature that raged between the Milesians, Heraclitus, Parmenides, and the atomists seem to modern minds to be insufficiently methodical and empirical (and to postmodern minds as still too caught up in the illusions of metaphysics), one ought to commend them as having been the first to try to account for the nature of things by discursive thought, by logos, rather than by relying on story-telling tradition or mythos.
He rejected the whole Platonic tradition, preferring the Atomists and certain of the Pre-Socratics.
Much of Orozco's work manifests an encounter between dramatically different temporalities: Static geometric patterns are projected onto wildly animated photographs of sports figures in a series of computer-generated prints known as the Atomists, 1996; and in another series of works, Pinched Stars, 1997, the artist made permanent aluminum casts from seemingly ephemeral residual forms by pressing wax between his hands.
According to Young, the work of a "sensationalist" writer is not the materialist proof of the atomists or the impressionistic epistemologies of associative psychology, but rather a way of "breaking up forms" in order to light up the "dark corners and hidden alleys" of the soul so as to destroy the "dogma of a universal.
If we assent to the proposition, we will recognize ourselves as heirs to the particular form of Greek materialist enlightenment propounded by the atomists and decisively realized, according to Lezra, by Lucretius' Latin "translation" of Epicurus in the poem De rerum natura.
One might think he had launched atomic theory except that the early atomists saw the destructive process as finite, whereas "the division of the elements in Empedocles' theory never reaches to an undivided last member" (Wright 37).