Concept of Spirit in Atomist Philosophy, Is There a Spirit for Atomists?June 26, 2021
According to Democritus, the soul is not a spiritual force separate from other atoms in nature.
He says: ‘The soul is an atom that is thin, smooth, shiny, round, and like atoms of fire. They are more mobile than anything else; and vital events arise from these movements, which can be inserted into every body. Therefore, the spirit is not a force that regulates the universe, but a type of matter.
It consists of such fiery atoms. Spirit atoms in the body enter between other atoms. In other words, a spirit atom comes between two atoms of other species. There is a danger that these very mobile soul atoms may fly out of the body. This is inhibited by breathing. By breathing and exhaling, hot air support is provided to our body, and the hot air is prevented from flying out of our body. When this resistance movement stops, the living thing dies. This means that the soul, like matter, disappears with death. These thoughts of Democritus seem to suggest that he sensed that breathing was related to the need for oxygen.
According to Democritus, spirit atoms are spread over the whole universe, they act according to mechanical principles and create life in the whole universe. According to him, thought is also a movement and its source is spirit atoms. Again, all moods have stops in the body. Thought is in the brain, anger is in the heart, and desire is in the liver. (he may be heartbroken when he gets angry) Also, the thinker consistently argues that plants and animals also have souls.
Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Grade 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook