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Gunk as you never knew it

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“Is everything entirely made up of atoms?…Or is everything made up of atomless ‘gunk’—as Lewis (1991: 20) calls it—that divides forever into smaller and smaller parts?” (Varzi 2014) The thought that matter is divisible has both intuitive appeal and empirical justification, and is a widespread position amongst ancient and modern philosophers. The thought that matter is unlimitedly divisible on the other hand has intuitive appeal, but not empirical justification, which is why there are only few philosophers upholding this view; for instance, Aristotle. But the thought that matter is unlimitedly divided is neither intuitive nor empirically justifiable, and has been very rarely endorsed in the history of metaphysics; Leibniz is one of the few exceptions. Yet, unlimited division is the keystone of two ancient metaphysical systems that in many other respects are different from one another: Anaxagoras’s and the Stoics’. Anna Marmodoro’s book argues that both. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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