Sunday, 1 January 2017


Carlo Rovelli, Reality Is Not What It Seems (Allen Lane, 2016).

"Lucretius decants in verse the thought of Epicurus and the atomism of Democritus, and in this way a part of this profound philosophy was saved from the intellectual catastrophe of the Dark Ages." (p. 20)

"The Catholic Church attempted to stop Lucretius: in the Florentine Synod of December 1516 it prohibited the reading of Lucretius in schools. In 1551, the Council of Trent banned his work. But it was too late. An entire vision of the world which had been swept away by medieval Christian fundamentalism was re-emerging in a Europe which had reopened its eyes. It was not just the rationalism, atheism and materialism of Lucretius that were being proposed in Europe. It was not merely a luminous and serene meditation on the beauty of the world. It was much more: it was an articulate and complex structure of thinking about reality, a new mode of thinking, radically different from what had been for centuries the mind-set of the Middle Ages." (pp. 24-25)

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