"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
3 Off the first mater1 Of Attomes.The Newton Project Knowledge Graph2020-10-08Journal1 Of Attomes.
It remaines therefore that the first matter must be attoms. And that Matter may be so small as to be indiscerpible the excellent Dr Moore in his booke of the soules imortality hath proved beyond all controversie yet I shall use one argument to shew that it cannot be divisible in infinitum & that is this: Nothing can be divided into more parts than it can possibly be constituted of. But matter (i.e. finite) cannot be constituted of infinite parts. The Major is true for looke into how many parts a thing is divided those parts added agane make that same whole that they were before; & so if any finite quantity were divided into infinite parts (& certainely it may if it be so far divisible) those infinite parts added would make the same finite quantity they were before which is again the Minor; & It is plaine from hence that an infinite number of extendid parts & the least parts of quantity must be extended make a thing infinitely extended this cannot be denyed if I can prove that things infinitely extended have fine parts Now vacuum is infinitely extended & so may matter be fansied to be. but if the world were removed & vacuum came into the roome of it that very vacuum would not be infinite we can conceive of interspersed vacuities amongst matter but they are not infinite (though an infinite number of them would be so) we see the parts of matter are finite. & an infinite number of finite unites cannot be finite. To helpe that conception of the nature of these leasts, how they are indivisible how extended of what figure &c I shall all along draw a similitude from numbers, comparing Math: points to ciphers, indivisible extension, to unites: divisibility, or compound quantity, to number: i.e. a multitude of attomes, to a multitude of unites. Suppose then a number of Mathematicall points were indued with such a power as that they could not touch nor be in one place (for if they touch they will touch all over, & bee in one place) Then ad thees as close in a line as they can stand together every point added must make some extension to the lenght because it cannot sinke into the formers place or touch it so here will be a line which hath partes extra partes; another of these points cannot bee added into the midst of this line, for that implys that the former points did not lie so close but that they might lye closer. The distance then twixt each point is the least that can be & so little may an attome be & no lesse: now that this distance is indivisible (& therefore the matter conteined in it) is thus made plaine: Wherever
1 Of Attomes.