Thomas Nail, Lucretius III: A History of Motion – Edinburgh University Press, February 2022
A guidebook to living in a world that’s destined to die, through a new reading of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura
Presents a new theory of history based on movement, as opposed to time
Offers a unique theory of evolutionary materialism
Can be read separately or along with Lucretius I and Lucretius II
Puts Lucretius in conversation with contemporary physics and new materialism
For Lucretius, history means something surprisingly different than we ordinarily think. Instead of thinking of history in terms of time, he thought of it in terms of motion. This book unpacks the implications of this unique kinetic philosophy of history.
In the final volume of his trilogy on Lucretius, Thomas Nail argues that in books five and six of De Rerum Natura, Lucretius described a world born to die – long before humans theorised about thermodynamics or began to see the catastrophic consequences of man-made climate change. What does it mean to live in such a world; a world that is increasinly obviously our world? Nail shows us how De Rerum Natura provides a guidebook for us to answer this question.