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Homoeomeria

From Ancient Greek: ὀμοιομερής [homoiomerés], loosely translated: “homogeneous parts”. In the philosophy of Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, an early idea of the concept we would today call “atoms”, i.e. indivisible particles that make up the qualities of a material.

However, Anaxagoras assumed that these smallest particles already contained all the properties of the material they form: In his view, water “atoms” were wet, those of iron hard and those of wool soft.

From a modern perspective – with a better understanding of molecules and material properties – it is not difficult to recognize the underlying error in this thinking: such properties only emerge if you have a plurality of atoms, or in some cases even by the interaction of different materials.

This concept thus commits the fallacy of division and the term is also used derivatively as a synonym for this fallacy.

Read more about this error under Fallacy of Division.

More information

  • Homöomerien in Rudolf Eisler: Wörterbuch der Philosophischen Begriffe (German)

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Ad Hominem Info is a project to explain and categorize the most common systematic fallacies and fallacies. On this page, you will find a background article that briefly explains an important logical concept, which may be needed to better understand another article in this area.
For more information, please see the main category “logic

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