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Chapter Summary

This chapter focusses on relatively neglected areas of research on Democritus and on themes on which it is legitimate to expect new contributions and new interpretative suggestions. It draws attention to the most recent advances in research, noting and engaging with recent publications. In fact, Democritean studies are currently enjoying a new momentum, comparable to that which they experienced at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Democritus values a rigorous and coherent form of materialism which repositions the task of science as the reduction of qualitative to quantitative relationships, and thereby inaugurates a new vision of the world. Jaulin argues that the Aristotelian criticism of atomist physics is quite compatible with a positive appreciation of Democritus’ methodology. Mansfeld shows that an overview of Philoponus’ references to Democritus reveals the insufficiency of his scholarship as well as his indebtedness to earlier attempts at explaining Aristotle.

Keywords: Aristotelian criticism; atomist physics; Democritus



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