Nature Abhors A Vacuum Quotes (4 quotes)
Natura abhorret vacuum.
This is a maxim that goes back to the Aristotelian philosophers of ancient Greece. It is well-know in English as “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Expressed in Latin, the phrase appears, for example, in Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532-64), book 1, chap. 5. Collected in Francois Rabelais, Thomas Urquhart (trans.) and Peter Le Motteux (trans.), Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel (1900), Vol. 1, 38.
Nature abhors a vacuum, and if I can only walk with sufficient carelessness I am sure to be filled.
Early Spring, 52. Excerpt in H.G.O. Blake (ed.), Thoreau's Thoughts: Selections From the Writings of Henry David Thoreau (1890,2005), 112.
Nature abhors a vacuum.
The English translation of the long-known maxim, “Natura abhorret vacuum.” The phrase in English appears, for example, in Robert Boyle, A Free Inquiry into the Vulgar Notion of Nature, collected in The Philosophical Works of the Honourable Robert Boyle Esq (1725), Vol. 2, 138. The concept was known long before Boyle. It was expressed, though not as briefly, by Aristotelian philosophers of ancient Greece.
Nature abhors a vacuum. It is quite certain that in the bounds of nature, a vacuum, which is nothing, can find no place. There is no power in Nature from which nothing could have made the universe, and none which could reduce the universe to nothing: that requires the same virtue. Now the matter would be otherwise if there could be a vacuum. For if it could be here, it could also be there; and being here and there, why not elsewhere? and why not everywhere? Thus the universe could reach annihilation by its own forces; but to Him alone who could make it is due the glory of compassing its destruction.
From On an Inquiry wherefore Tin and Lead increase in Weight on Calcination (1630), collected in Essays of Jean Rey, Doctor of Medicine (1895), 11. As quoted in William Ramsay, [Ramsay adds his comment, “Nature abhors a vacuum,” was a favourite thesis in former days.]