Physics has developed up to the present as an effort to identify the atom, that is, that which is itself not capable of further division. This search has moved successively from the atom named by Dalton in the nineteenth century to the subatomic particles (electron, proton, neutron) in the early twentieth century, to the stable of quarks, charms, spins, and symmetries by which we understand matter today. That is to say, what was once regarded as atomic, that is, indivisible, is itself found to be composed of particles subordinate to that. However, the discovery of an atom at a more fundamental level does not entitle one to dismiss as mere illusion what was formerly regarded as atom or element. For example, the molecule exists as a combination of atoms; however, that does not mean that it can be reduced to the atomic level. Things possess a different character at the molecular level than at the atomic level. Regardless of how elementary a level one arrives at, one cannot ignore the particularity of the preceding levels. In this sense, while Empedocles’s thesis of the four elements appears a half measure from the point of view of atomism, it could be said that he had grasped a quality that cannot be reduced to atomism.