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Of the Nature of Things Hardcover – May 2006


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Hardcover, May 2006
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Indypublish.Com (May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421979306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421979304
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 517 g

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Amazon.com: 38 reviews
44 of 53 people found the following review helpful
On the Nature of Things May 28 2012
By weston - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"On the Nature of Things" by Lucretius. A translation by Frank Copley of the famous Latin poem, written by Lucretius, who lived circa 95-50 B.C., setting forth the atomistic philosophy of Epicureus 340-270 B.C. The poem was lost with the collapse of the Roman empire and only came to light again in 1417 when a copy of a copy of a copy...was found in a German monastery by a discharged papal secretary--see "The Swerve".
Astoundingly, much of this poem is consistent with scientific models today---invisible and minute atoms forever moving in a void under internal and external forces, joining together in various ways to form the visible objects of the world. The atoms themselves were eternal but the bodies came to an end and the atoms recycled into other bodies so that the mass of the world remains constant. He got it wrong about the speed of " heat atoms" being faster than the speed of "light atoms", but by and large this is the atomic theory of Maxwell and Boltzmann and later physicists, without the math of course.
While not denying the existence of gods of various sorts,Lucretias' view was that the universe goes on without their aid or attention. The world as we know it was brought into being and maintained by natural forces and follows natural laws, not in any degree by divine intervention. Since the world is a conglomerate of atoms and void, it is impermanent and must someday inevitably be destroyed, including the soul upon death. Seeing things thusly, there is no room for the afterlife, no need for gods major or minor, no reason to despair of death, and certainly no reason to forgo the pleasures of this world for a reward in the afterlife. What we see in this life is all there is and we should enjoy it. Small wonder that this view was not welcomed by the Church of Rome upon discovery of the poem.
Although he was basically right on the atoms, Lucretias' labored and today laughable explanations of the causes of physical phenomena in terms of the different properties of "smooth" or " rough" atoms, of differences in "heat" and "light" atoms, the flows of air, etc. only serve to illustrate the fallacies of pure reason without an anchor to empirical observation. Ironically, his Epicurean view of the things that could be seen was altogether wrong--earth, water, air and ether being the basic components of which everything was constituted, the motion of heavenly bodies on circular currents of ether, the size of the sun, moon and stars being as they seemed (totally lacking the concept of perspective that a little knowledge of the available mathematics would have given). It clearly never occurred to the thinkers of his age to check any of these postulated causes by comparison with experiment. However, the speculation on biological evolution through many failures is not far from the modern theory.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great translation (Focus) Dec 8 2012
By Dan Gilles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Like all of the Focus Philosophical Library series books, Englert's translation is clear and accurate. One of, if not the best translations of this brilliant masterpiece.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Thought Provoking Oct. 21 2011
By R. E. Chanley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wondered if I would find this 2000 year old poem relevant to my 21st century life. It is. On The Nature of Things is almost a reference book of everyday subjects from pain, harmony, love, touch, taste and free will. It also goes on the broader subjects such as life, rain, atoms, religion, earth and the universe. The outline of the poem gives you a broad idea of what Lucretius is talking about, and the index lets you quickly find his thoughts on any given subject. I find that I pick up the book when I'm thinking about something, and I wonder what Lucretius has to say about it. I would suggest this book to any independant thinker.
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Deserves the highest recommendation especially for public and college library collections Jan. 13 2011
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
On the Nature of Things is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of the only surviving work of the Roman philosopher Lucretius, born in 99 BC. In "On the Nature of Things", Lucretius sought to liberate his fellow Romans from their fear of the gods, and their fear of death. Lucretius argued that the gods are not directly involved in life, and therefore there is no need to appease them; he also argued that death is the end of a human being's body and soul, and therefore there is no point in fearing it. An unforgettable amalgamation of insight, now in a new English translation by Ian Johnston and intuitively performed by theater, film, and television actor Hugh Ross, On the Nature of Things deserves the highest recommendation especially for public and college library collections.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
NEW THOUGHT March 29 2013
By ARTURO GALEANO - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It has always facinated me how we as humams come to a point in our lives, if we are lucky, where it occurs to us NEW thoughts, new realizations, brand new ways to see and experience our lifes. How is it that we think the way we think and not another way? Why does it occur to others, the great thinkers, that they can change the way they think and completely change the life experience?
This is one of this original thinkers book. Can you change your life experience? Sure, you can!
Good luck!!!!

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