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Democritus (Demokritos)

( Greek philosopher)

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Biography Democritus (Demokritos)
Democritus, Demokritos, of Abdera, c.. C. 470/460-. 400 years. BC. e., Greek philosopher. According to legend, being a disciple of the Persian Magi, he was an adherent of Eastern wisdom, made a trip to Egypt, Ethiopia, Persia, Chaldea and India (mention of which appear only in the II. BC. e.). D. was a student of Leucippus, and it is quite possible that he was listening to the same lecture someone from the Pythagoreans (cm. Pythagoras). Rather, he was not in Athens. In the Hellenistic period emerged a story about DA, which in the I. n. e. found the final form in the fictitious correspondence D. It is shown for the first time at Horace nicknamed D. "laughing philosopher". - Catalog of the works of AD, be genuine, was Callimachus, and the tetralogy of their shared Frasill in the I. n. e. The order of the tetralogy: 1-2 - ethics; 3-4 - natural philosophy (associated with the theory of mind and logic), 7-9 - mathematics and astronomy, 10-11 - poetry and music; 12-13 - Practical skills (medicine, agriculture farming, painting). In 13 tetralogy (52 pieces) list contains 9 works out certain thematic sections (tetralogy between 2 and 3).

At the end of the catalog Frasill posted 9 other writings attributed to D. Usually disputed the authenticity of several works from Frasilla. From the heritage of the D. preserved only 298 pieces, mostly ethical, so-called Gnome Democritus (Demokratus gnomai), and a few dwarf Stobayosa (?). Supposedly at the end of III. BC. e. Bolos of Mend issued under the name D. own pieces of the magical properties of animals, plants and precious stones, and containing in addition a purely practical tips, such as agriculture (pseudo-Democritus). To some extent, through these writings with I in. BC. e. D. known as a researcher of nature, which attributed to various discoveries and inventions. In the second half of V. n. e.

D. attributed the authorship of a collection of alchemical recipes, which has had a great influence on the later works of this kind. D. regarded as the author of many aphorisms and moral maxims. Founder of the atomic theory of Leucippus was, however, D. its improved and supplemented. It is impossible to accurately determine the contribution of D. in this theory, because in ancient times there was a clear separation between the teachings of Leucippus and views of the D. Gradually D. were regarded as the first atomists, works Leucippus - Macrocosm (Megas diakosmos) and of the mind (Peri nu) - attributed to D. (possibly more in the IV. BC. BC.), and some, such as Epicurus, denied the existence of Leucippus. Most important piece of the D. a Microcosm (Mikros diakosmos) (430-425 gg.). Two bases (archai) the existence of peace are eternal, unchanging and indivisible atoms (atomos - indivisible) and emptiness (kenon), recognized by the intangible or non-existence. In the infinite emptiness in constant motion are the atoms that make up the infinite variety of finite worlds. Motion of atoms has no beginning and is the original law of nature. Atoms are only quantitative characteristics, ie differ in size, shape (like the letters A and N), order (AN and NA) and location (N and Z).

Atomists not recognize the advisability of the world and all phenomena are explained mechanistically. With regard to the theory of knowledge, then D. distinguish the true knowledge, based on reason, and deceptive cognition (gnome skotie), relying on experience. D. not cast a final certificate of the sense organs, but has sought to critically assess the reason it. Sensory characteristics (sweetness, bitterness, heat, shades of color) D. considered subjective. Man perceives objects when separating from their similarity (eidola) reach his eyes (the adoption of the theory of "outpouring" Empedocles). In theory, D. no place for supernatural elements, because the gods are a compound of tiny spherical atoms, which, although long-lived, eventually die. Despite the subordinate place of theology in the atomistic philosophy of AD, not to say that religious beliefs have no meaning for him and are merely an expression of adaptation to the traditional beliefs. Gods being better than men because they are more likely to know the laws that govern the world. They can help or hinder people (hence D. not rejected the prayer), as well as predict the future.

D challenged the views of Epicurus, referring to the kinship of humans and gods, based on their common nature, but recognizing the gods of the sample, according to which people can shape their own lives. D. explained the origin of religion in two ways: 1) observation of natural phenomena, . cause in people's hearts deep respect, . associated with a fear, . tempted some of the wise men to recognize the existence of a deity, . Ruling the world (perhaps, . here dealt with the emergence of philosophical religion), 2) a source of religious ideas were great and inspiring vision of fear in human form (eidola), . people who were in a dream (probably, . it is the emergence of the anthropomorphic folk religion),
. D. was the first prose writer, writing works on ethical issues. The most significant of them - for the peace of mind (Peri euthymies). Ethics has been linked to the atomic theory, happiness, often defined as "peace of mind", is based on the harmonious and symmetrical movement of the atoms of the soul.

According to this doctrine, the human mind can influence the movement of mental atoms. Perhaps that is why D. adhered to in writings on ethics gnomic style to a more easy-to-remember aphorisms influenced in the right direction on the motion of atoms and ensure people happy. The basic principle of ethics D. was the subordination of will and sense of reason man (this is its similarity to the ethics of Socrates). Until recently it was considered proven that the D. was the creator of the concept of the development of society from primitive, almost animal forms to more sophisticated. This doctrine D., . submitted, . perhaps, . in Microcosm, . expounds, . based on Hecataeus of Abdera, . Diodorus Sitsiliyskiy.V now, . however, . believe, . that the idea of the development of society and culture under the pressure of the inevitability and necessity is the collective product of the sophistical thought V in,
. BC. e., which broke the myth of a golden age (the traces of such views in Protagoras, Prodicus, Critias). D. was a supporter of democracy, but he also saw flaws of contemporary democracies. D., who wrote about all fields of knowledge of his time, was the most versatile philosopher Aristotle to. Cicero praised the beautiful Ionic style D. and compared it with the style of Plato, and the simple style of the D. contrasted the confusing language of Heraclitus.

Aristotle writes frequently about the D. with respect, but Plato nowhere on it does not mention. Did Plato compositions D. - Debatable. Traces of criticism of atomism in Plato's Timaeus saw probably too hastily. Legend is also the message that Plato wanted to burn the works of Dr.. D. not established a philosophical school, but in the IV. BC. e. declared his followers - Metrodorus Chios, Diogenes of Smyrna, Anaxagoras of Abdera (teacher Piron from Elis), Navsifan (teacher of Epicurus). Epicurus also originally called himself a follower of AD, but later began to stress its originality. Philosophy D. gave rise to two schools: the Epicurean (continuing atomism and ethics AD) and skeptical (based Pyrrho, who put in the forefront of the theory of subjective sensations). Teaching D. has become known everywhere thanks to Aristotle and peripatetic, and Hair of Menda, linking the views of the D. with the mystical and alchemical ideas, but above all - Epicurus.

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