This article analyzes Ṣadrā's (d. 1045/1635–1636) use of historical sources on pre-Socratics in his discussions devoted to the two correlated problems of the origination of the world and the theory of chance. His overall attitude to pre-Socratics is that of an Illuminationist philosopher. This is facilitated by the fact that the sources he consults present Neoplatonic interpretations of a number of pre-Socratic views that he finds easy to reconcile with his own doctrines. In his discussion on the material world's origination, Ṣadrā sees them as precursors of his own doctrine of substantial motion. However, when it comes to chance Ṣadrā has to address Ibn Sina's refutation of the views of Democritus and Empedocles. Ṣadrā's discussion is based on Rāzī's summary treatment of Ibn Sina's critique but intertwined with assertions (which trace back to Suhrawardī) that pre-Socratic views were misunderstood or even fabricated.