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Pleasure, Mind, and SoulSelected Papers in Ancient Philosophy$
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C. C. W. Taylor

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199226399

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226399.001.0001

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The Atomists

The Atomists

(p.181) 11 The Atomists
Pleasure, Mind, and Soul

C. C. W. Taylor

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes and criticizes the principal doctrines of the 5th-century atomists Leucippus and Democritus. Topics discussed are physical principles, chance and necessity, epistemology, psychology, and ethics and politics. The chapter argues against interpretations of Democritus as a sceptic in epistemology, and suggests that in his ethics he is a moderate hedonist who holds that social institutions are developed to promote individual well-being.

Keywords:   atoms, void, sufficient reason, chance and necessity, convention and reality, secondary qualities, perception, scepticism, thought and experience, pleasure

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