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By Lucretius

Titus Lucretius Carus (ca. 99-55 B. C.) is understood essentially because the Roman writer of the lengthy didactic poem «De Rerum Natura» (On the character of Things). In it, he got down to explicate the universe, embracing and refuting rules of the good Greek philosophers. This annotated scholarly variation of the Latin textual content of «De Rerum Natura» has lengthy been hailed as one of many most interesting versions of this enormous paintings. It positive factors an advent to Lucretiuss lifestyles and paintings by means of William Ellery Leonard, an creation to and observation at the poem by way of Stanley Barney Smith, the total Latin textual content with exact annotations, and an index of historic assets.

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A) In regard to things beyond sense experience, such as the atoms and the nature of the stars and the thunder and the light­ ning flashes, any explanation may be cheerfully accepted which is a plausible analogy with what goes on in our direct experi­ ence, provided there is nothing in experience that opposes. LUCRETIUS: T H E MAN, T H E POET, A N D T H E TIMES 49 b) In explaining scientific phenomena in Nature, such as eclipses or the formation of clouds or of these very thunderbolts, the Epicureans held that one cause, one explanation, doesn't exclude another.

259-274, reprinted in his T h e G r e e k A t o m ists a n d E p i c u r u s ) . And this a n i m i i a c t u s gives the principles and the laws, the n a t u r a r e r u m , worked out by Epicurus and thun­ dered forth by Lucretius: q u a e r i t e n i m r a t i o n e m a n i m u s (II. 1044). What we call reasoning by analogy plays the most important role, as distinct from the syllogistic reasoning of die Stoics. The theory is loose and vague, though important as a new start; and this explanation is, I fear, too casual to bring out either its crud­ ity for modern psychology or its significance for die history of scientific inquiry.

Though he may have used Ares in some lost portion for Strife ( Nctjcof), as he does in fact sometimes use Aphrodite for Love (Φιλίΐί, Φιλότη$), both are equally c r e a t i v e forces, both equally d e s t r u c t i v e forces. This is the central dynamics of his theory of the cosmic process, and a study of Fragment 17 and the notes (either in Diels' P o e t a r u m P h i l o s o p h o r u m F r a g m e n t a or in my little English volume) should settle die question. But there remain a few further comparisons that do not lead to so lame and impotent a conclusion.

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