Strato of Lampsacus

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Strato (Straton) of Lampsacus (d. 269 BCE) was a Greek philosopher, the third head of the Lyceum, following Aristotle's successor Theophrastus in about 286 BCE. He was known in Latin as Strato Physicus.

Strato's origin was Lampsacus (or Lampsakos), a Greek city on the eastern side of the Hellespont in northern Troas (now part of Turkey). His extensive writings included a non-teleological reinterpretation of Aristotle's physics, which influenced Alexandrian philosophers such as Hero. His view – that the universe is self-explanatory and self-sustaining, and thus in no need of the introduction of a god or other extra-natural explanatory factor – was known as "Stratonician atheism" by Pierre Bayle, and his principle was dubbed "the Stratonician presumption" by the English philosopher Antony Flew.

Strato's other theories included the notion space was porous, objects containing different amounts of the void (which accounted for differences in weight); he also corrected Aristotle's claim that bodies fall at a constant speed, noting that in fact they accelerate.

Sources and external links

  • Simon Blackburn. Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-19-283134-8
  • Antony Flew & Stephen Priest. A Dictionary of Philosophy. London: Pan Macmillan, 2002. ISBN 0-330-48730-2
  • "Life of Strato" from Diogenes Laertius' Lives of the Philosophers, translated by C.D. Yonge (provided by Peithô's Web)


  • Luciana Repici. La natura e l'anima: saggi su Stratone di Lampsaco. Turin: Tirrenia Stampatore, 1988.