[Milton-L] Milton's Cosmos and Universe

Harold Skulsky hskulsky at smith.edu
Wed Jan 20 08:13:31 EST 2010

John Leonard's challenge is well-aimed. My answer (such as it is) is
that "formed" and "formless" are relative terms. M's congeries of atoms
have the form proper to elementary particles of the kind a Christian
materialist thinks it reasonable to posit, but not enough form to cohere
into macroscopic objects, let alone an array of crystalline spheres;
that is the intended sense of my unfortunate phrase "faux-Lucretian":
Lucretius' atoms are fecund — they are the spontaneous seeds of more
than one world; M's sterile atoms helplessly await a world-making form
and vitality that must be imposed on them by an intelligence that lies
beyond them. 

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