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Episode 2562             Episode 2564
Episode 2563

Sat, 2024-May-11 01:01 UTC
Length - 2:29

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Saturday, 11 May 2024 is Leucippus.

Leucippus (; Λεύκιππος, Leúkippos; fl. 5th century BCE) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. He is traditionally credited as the founder of atomism, which he developed with his student Democritus. Leucippus divided the world into two entities: atoms, indivisible particles that make up all things, and the void, the nothingness that exists between the atoms. He developed his philosophy as a response to the Eleatics, who believed that all things are one and the void does not exist. Leucippus's ideas were influential in ancient and Renaissance philosophy. His philosophy was a precursor to modern atomic theory, but the two only superficially resemble one another.

Leucippus's atoms come in infinitely many forms and exist in constant motion, creating a deterministic world in which everything is caused by the collisions of atoms. Leucippus described the beginning of the cosmos as a vortex of atoms that formed the Earth, the Sun, the stars, and other celestial bodies. As Leucippus considered atoms and the void to be infinite, he presumed that other worlds must exist as cosmoses are formed elsewhere. Leucippus and Democritus described the soul as an arrangement of spherical atoms, which are cycled through the body through respiration and create thought and sensory input.

The only records of Leucippus come from Aristotle and Theophrastus, ancient philosophers who lived after him, and little is known of his life. Most scholars agree that Leucippus existed, but some have questioned this, instead attributing his ideas purely to Democritus. Contemporary philosophers rarely distinguish their respective ideas. Two works are attributed to Leucippus (The Great World System and On Mind), but all of his writing has been lost with the exception of one sentence.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:01 UTC on Saturday, 11 May 2024.

For the full current version of the article, see Leucippus on Wikipedia.

This podcast uses content from Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

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