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The roots of the atomic hypothesis in 4th century Greece

This talk examines the birth of the elemetary system of fire, air, water and earth in ancient Greek thinking

For nearly two and a half thousand years, an understanding of the Elements underpinned almost all ways of thinking about the world. The hypothesis of this talk about Fire, Air, Water and Earth, tracks a direct ancestry from the branch of Greek philosophy that studies phusis, roughly translated as Nature. The ideas that lay behind the enduring elementary view of the world were developed by a number of critical thinkers, including Plato & Aristotle, who used them to provide detailed and intricate accounts of the ultimate nature of matter. But where did these theories come from, what did they entail, how seriously were they taken, and how seriously should we take them? These, and many other intriguing questions will be raised by the speaker, who will provide an introduction to the ancient atomic hypotheses that today seem extraordinarily prescient, and out of place in what we understand of the 4th C BCE.
Michael Bispham has independently researched the ancient matter-theories for more than a decade. In recent years his work has been funded in part by grants channelled through the RILKO administrative system, resulting in an offer of publication for an account of Plato's systematic examination of the physical world. He has published in the field of historical architectural layout systems.


Michael Bispham | talks


Date and Time:

30 March 2007 at 7:15 pm


1 hour



Research Into Lost Knowledge Organisation
41 Queen's Gate
South Kensington
020 7602 0173
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Organised by:

Research Into Lost Knowledge Organisation
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