What the ultimate Natural Units of material are?
Plato's Primal Substances
In his Timaeus, Plato (427-347 BC) postulated that
combinations of four primal substances:
made up all materials. He associated the regular
(platonic) solids with his primal substances:
cube with earth, tetrahedron with fire, octahedron with air,
icosahedron with water, and dodecahedron with ether.
Plato's student Aristotle (384-322 BC) examined the ideas of primal
substances from the viewpoint of causes and effects. He believed
in having a limited number of primal materia, but added four
In his mind, a combination of these qualities and primal
substances caused all the phenomena of the world.
|EARTH ||wet ||WATER
|hot || ||cole
|FIRE ||dry ||AIR
Plato's primal substance concept dominated scholarly thought
for almost 2000 years.