Heraclitus vs Democritus

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Democritus and Heraclitus - What is the phusis of the universe? How does morality and justice fit in the universe? How do they defend this? By: Joel Alexis McKoy-Marchand
Presented to: Gabriel Flacks

As society evolved and continues evolving, the human being started to question the mysteries of the universe. Although none of the answers are necessarily correct, models of best fit constantly got updated and replaced which arguably drew mankind's interest towards puzzling questions such as what the true phusis of the universe is and/or how principles of justice and morality have a certain belonging in the universe. Democritus and Heraclitus show us a clear example of how two different ideas with regards to these questions clash in the aim of obtaining a more clear understanding of our complex natural world.

As far as Democritus' beliefs go, for the purpose of this essay, the likely response to what the phusis of the universe would be, and how morality/justice fit in our natural universe will be examined from his particular perspective in this paragraph. Being one of the two founders of the atomic theory (fact #1), he would very likely state that the phusis of the universe consists of atoms and void. Furthermore, he also makes it very clear that nothing else truly exists, and that anything beyond that point is simply an illusion (fact #2). That being said, by sensory observation, we may feel hot and cold for instance, but not in reality. In addition, he believed that these atoms were indivisible and had particular sizes, shapes, weights, and motions (fact #3). He also explains that the movements of these atoms are due to the particular forces that are exerted on them (fact #4). From his outlook, this theory explains all actions that are caused in the universe. Although stated that atoms have no particular goals or purposes, one may say as an example that the purpose of a hearts' function is to pump blood; however, Democritus would argue that there is no...
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