Chapter

Atoms

Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra

in Leibniz’s Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles

Published in print August 2014 | ISBN: 9780198712664
Published online September 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780191781018 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712664.003.0011
Atoms

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Leibniz gave three arguments against atoms based on the Identity of Indiscernibles, and these are studied in Chapter 11. The most interesting of these arguments and the strongest of them is one in which, assuming that atoms must have what are nowadays called ‘arbitrary undetached parts’, Leibniz argues that each atom would have many perfectly similar such parts, but since there are no two perfectly similar things, there are no atoms. The argument, however, can be resisted if one is prepared to reject the assumption that atoms have parts, even in the sense of arbitrary undetached parts. The other two arguments presuppose that if there were any atoms, they would be perfectly similar, or that if atoms were possible, perfectly similar atoms would be possible.

Keywords: atoms; homogeneity; parts; simples

Chapter.  6095 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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