Definitions for democritusdɪˈmɒk rɪ təs
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Greek philosopher who developed an atomistic theory of matter (460-370 BC)
A Greek philosopher (c.460-c.370 BC). The originator of the atomic theory together with his teacher Leucippus.
Origin: From Δημόκριτος.
Democritus was an Ancient Greek philosopher born in Abdera, Thrace, Greece. A pupil of Leucippus, he was an influential pre-Socratic philosopher who formulated an atomic theory for the universe. His exact contributions are difficult to disentangle from those of his mentor Leucippus, as they are often mentioned together in texts. Their speculation on atoms, taken from Leucippus, bears a passing and partial resemblance to the nineteenth-century understanding of atomic structure that has led some to regard Democritus as more of a scientist than other Greek philosophers; however, their ideas rested on very different bases. Largely ignored in ancient Athens, Democritus was nevertheless well known to his fellow northern-born philosopher Aristotle. Plato is said to have disliked him so much that he wished all his books burned. Many consider Democritus to be the "father of modern science".
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
a Greek philosopher, born in Abdera, Thrace, of wealthy parents; spent his patrimony in travel, gathered knowledge from far and near, and gave the fruits of it in a series of writings to his contemporary compatriots, only fragments of which remain, though they must have come down comparatively entire to Cicero's time, who compares them for splendour and music of eloquence to Plato's; his philosophy was called the Atomic, as he traced the universe to its ultimate roots in combinations of atoms, in quality the same but in quantity different, and referred all life and sensation to movements in them, while he regarded quiescence as the summum bonum; he has been called the Laughing Philosopher from, it is alleged, his habit of laughing at the follies of mankind; b. 460 B.C.
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