In 420BC, Democritus argued that the universe is comprised of atoms and void (vacuum or empty space), according to which atoms, and the things they make, constitute "being", whereas void, vacuum, or empty space constitute "non-being".
In 1809, Goethe, in his Elective Affinities, argued that chemical things, e.g. humans, can go from certain states of "being", e.g. a person employed or at the rank of a "Captain", as shown adjacent (left), to another state of being, e.g. the a person employed or at the higher rank of a "Major", adjacent (right), and that the transition from one "state of being" to another "state of being", constitutes what is called or referred to as "becoming".
Moreover, according to Goethe, the transition into the higher state of being, opens up the opportunity for new chemical bondings to occur, e.g. the Major married to Charlotte, which were not feasible in the previous state of being.
- Ueberweg, Friedrich. (1875). A History of Philosophy: from Thales to the Present Time, Volume One (pg. 69). Scribner.
- Becoming – Hmolpedia 2020.