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The Deleuze-Lucretius Encounter$
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Ryan J. Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474416535

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474416535.001.0001

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The Atomic Idea

The Atomic Idea

(p.60) 2 The Atomic Idea
The Deleuze-Lucretius Encounter

Ryan J. Johnson

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter turns to atomic metaphysics as it appears in Lucretius' De rerum natura, using Deleuze's ontology as a way to construe Lucretian atomism as a formulation of the atomic idea. The central focus of this chapter is how the thinking of atoms and void influences Deleuze's thinking of ontological genesis. Rather than differential elements, differential relations and singularities composing the Deleuzean idea, this chapter shows that the three parts of atomic idea are atomic elements, atomic relations, and the clinamen. To make the atomic idea as vivid as possible, the chapter concludes by turning to the famous analogy between atoms and letters in order to develop an extended atomic grammar.

Keywords:   atomic metaphysics, De rerum natura, atomic idea, void, ontological genesis, Deleuze's ontology, atomic elements, atomic relations, clinamen

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