Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Dictionary of philosophy and psychology including many of the principal conceptions of ethics, logics, aesthetics ... and giving a terminology in English, French, German and Italian, vol. 2 [lead-zwing]
Baldwin, James Mark
Vacherot, Étienne. (1809-97.) Born 
at Longres, France, he studied at Paris and 
became professor of philosophy at the Sor¬ 
bonne in 1839. Attacked by the clerical 
party for his views, he was for political rea¬ 
sons deprived of his office in 1852, and im¬ 
prisoned for three months in 1859. In 1871 
he was elected member of the National As¬ 
sembly for the Department of the Seine. 
Vacuum [Lat. vacuus, empty] : Ger. (das) 
Leere ; Fr. (le) vide ; Ital. (il) vacuo, (il) vuoto. 
The condition of empty space ; space unfilled 
by matter. Cf. Plenum, and Space. 
The concepts of the full (plenum) and the 
empty (vacuum or void) originated very early 
in the cosmology of Pre-Socratic Philosophy. 
The Pythagoreans had asserted the existence 
of empty space beyond the confines of the 
world (Zeller, Pre-Socratic Philos., i. 408-69, 
Eng. trans.). This was necessary in order that 
there might be movement, since to make room 
for bodies in motion something would have 
to be pushed outside the world ; it was also 
necessary to account for the possibility of 
condensation and rarefaction ; also to divide 
things (even numbers) from one another (i. e. 
if everything was a plenum there would be of 
necessity complete homogeneity and no distinc¬ 
tion). At the same time, in accordance with 
the highly realistic character of Pre-Soci’atic 
philosophy, empty space was identified with 
air. Parmenides easily recognizes that air is, 
and, since it is Being, cannot be regarded as 
Non-being (q. v.), which the void would be. 
Hence everything is full, and accordingly one 
and homogeneous and at rest—thus admitting 
that the Pythagorean assertion of the void as 
necessary for motion and for distinction and 
plurality is valid (Zeller, op. cit., i. 506, 633-6). 
The Atomists accordingly take up the opposite 
pole of the argument, and in asserting the 
multiplicity of distinct and moving atoms, 
assert also the existence of an empty space 
(to k(vov) which separates them and in which 
they can move about (Zeller, op. cit., ii. 2id- 
20). Empedocles, on the contrary, denied 
the existence of a vacuum, hut supposed 
that the qualitatively different elements 
had pores in them, so that the elements are 
able to mix with one another indefinitely and 
thus produce the appearance of change and 
of indefinite variety. Anaxagoras attempts 
by a more thoroughgoing qualitative mixture 
of beings to deny the void and yet uphold 
change and distinction. Plato arrives at the 
abstract generalization of pure or empty 
space, which is Non-being, and as the void, 
the all-receptive (nav8e%es) background of the 
creative energy, which, through being first 
distinguished into geometrical figures, be¬ 
comes the framework of the physical world 
(Zeller, Plato, 305-7, Eng. trans.). In the 
existent physical world there is no void, for 
the spherical limit of the universe, being 
continuous, holds all within pressed together 
(Timaeus, 58-60), so that as to nature Plato 
agrees with Empedocles and Anaxagoras, 
while returning to the Pythagoreans to get a 
metaphysical empty space. (This conception 
of it as correlative to geometry, and thus the 
mean term between the physical and mathe¬ 
matical, was largely influential in displacing 
the physico-metaphysical conception of the 
vacuum by the mathematico-metaphysical 
conception of pure Space, q. v.) Aristotle 
undertakes an explicit and extensive refuta¬ 
tion of the atomic theory of the vacuum : 
according to him space is the limit of the 


Sehr geehrte Benutzer,

aufgrund der aktuellen Entwicklungen in der Webtechnologie, die im Goobi viewer verwendet wird, unterstützt die Software den von Ihnen verwendeten Browser nicht mehr.

Bitte benutzen Sie einen der folgenden Browser, um diese Seite korrekt darstellen zu können.

Vielen Dank für Ihr Verständnis.