By convention sweet, by convention bitter; by convention hot, by convention cold; by convention color; but in reality: atoms and the void.

For those Post-Parmenidean Presocratics who refused to believe that the world is nothing like we experience it, the challenge lay in giving an account of the observable world, while not contradicting Parmenides' well-argued conclusions. The above statement sums up Democritus' resulting view on the nature of ultimate reality: the only truly real objects of the world, he is here claiming, are atoms and the void. The observable world, which arises from the arrangement and rearrangement of these atoms, is less real. Since only the atoms and the void are truly real, any change, plurality, etc. that we observe in our experience, is not a true violation of Parmenides' requirements for the real.

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