Philosophy and Psychology
Submitted By lisasullivan192
Assignment 5 Relate Democritus' ethics and his physics. How can he be concerned with right and wrong behavior when there are only atoms in the void? Compare his ethics to Parmenides' Way of Opinion. ! Democritus was an atomist, and atomists wanted to explain the world without reasoning. They wanted to ﬁgure out the purpose, the prime mover and the ﬁnal cause, which by todays standards is the more scientiﬁc approach to ﬁguring out the universe. Questions should be answered with a mechanistic argument. His theory that everything is composed of atoms, which can not be divided, and that they have been, and always will be in motion. ! Democritus believed in equality, that be a moral person and lead a happy life, you couldn’t have the maximum of anything, whether it be pleasure or pain. You have to avoid any extremes. Too much of even pleasure can even lead you down an evil path Democritus says. You have to maintain a balance, so if you are having too much fun, he wants you to even it out with a little pain or hardship. How it relates to his physics is that for the universe to be there needs to a space or void. That void, he says has an equal right as reality does because it is what helps it be. It is a vacuum that has inﬁnite space, that moves an inﬁnite amount of atoms, that are small, that they are invisible to the eye, and are eternal. He didn't believe that there was a supernatural being that created the universe, instead insisted that the world came about through because it was necessary. because of the nature of atoms. He thought that nature was like a machine. I think it relates with his ethics, that like with a machine if it is oiled to much or to less it will not work properly. ! He’s concerned with right and wrong behavior even when only atoms are in the void maybe because if they don’t do what they are destined to do in the world, the world would not exist. Why are the atoms there, if not to make the world. I think that Democritus thinks (I think) everything nature made is made for a reason and atoms are what make up the universe. ! The main point in Paramenides’ Way of Opinion is that even if something that is believed to be truth by popular opinion, doesn’t make it the actual truth. For example Even if everyone one says that if you jump off a bridge you will live doesn’t mean that it is the truth. Comparing it to Democritus’ ethics, is a little hard to do. Maybe they are comparable in the fact that Democritus says to be happy with what you have, your truth, ﬁnding what is the truth in your situation,and make the best of it and Way of Opinion talks about the same, popular opinion’s truth (like gods) is not necessarily the actual truth, and that you need to ﬁnd the “truth” that you believe to be true. !