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  • This is a placeholder to start the discussion of indivisibility, by first going back to why it was an issue for Epicurus in the first place. What questions or positions was he addressing? Here are some starting points, first from David Sedley's "Lucretius and the Transformation of Greek Wisdom":
  • From the Cambridge Companion to Epicureanism, Epicurus was responding to Aristitotle's attacks on Atomism:
  • Here is where the issue of "movement" comes in, from the same source. We need more development of Epicurus' response to this. I am not going to have time to pursue this right now, but there had to have been important reasons for this dispute and we can't analyse the issue without uncovering them:
  • Godfrey: That is GREAT if you have time to tackle God and the Atom. I recall Alex saying many good things about Stenger and that book in particular. I think I scanned a few pages but that is as far as I got. It would be tremendously helpful if you are able to expand this or related threads with commentary from Stenger. As far as the clips above those are from the Cambridge books so I don't think there is a full free copy on line. I know I have read about this in various sources but unfortunately…
  • Yes agreed that is part of the issue. If the word "atom" essentially means indivisible then you have an immediate definitional issue as to whether such a concept can exist. I am not well versed at all on these "ontological" issues -- such as does the fact that we can imagine a god (or an atom) itself mean that it '"exists." I have to admit that I personally detest what I see as "word games" like I consider this to be. On the other hand, there is little doubt but that this kind of game-playing wa…
  • I bet you are correct Elayne at least in large part. There is also probably something going on here too that illustrates the limits of logic when not connected to observation. That might be the same thing, or might not. It's apparently possible to construct a logic argument that motion is impossible. In contrast, we see and feel motion all the time. In such cases "logic" must give way to the senses.
  • (Quote from Oscar) Yes exactly thank you Oscar! Do you also have a short explanation of the problem with Zeno's argument ( other than walking across the room, which I gather is the standard and good! response?
  • (Quote from JJElbert) Hmmmm. There is either a flaw in this reasoning, or it is an EXCELLENT observation and not one that I have personally seen before. Do those reading this agree that an alphabet must be finite in order to convey meaning? Is that what you are saying Joshua? If this argument holds up it is one that we definitely want to use over and over. Does this go too far? (Quote from JJElbert)
  • Yes as to paragraph one. As to paragraph two, I think you are correct two, Joshua. How could there be any confidence in the meaning of a word that was constructed of an alphabet for which there is no established list of symbols. Now I guess what I am concerned about is the question of whether an alphabet could start off being a defined set but somehow expand without end, but since the expansion (it would seem) could not be agreed upon ahead of time then the result would surely be at least uncert…