Democritus’ Understanding of Philosophy of KnowledgeJune 26, 2021
Heraclitus and Parmenides investigated whether we perceive the universe with our senses or with reason. We can say that Democritus is in the middle between the views of these two philosophers.
According to him, our information reaches us through our sense organs, but only the mind enlightens and guides us about the reliability of this information conveyed by our sense organs. The sense that the mind finds most reliable is the sense of touch. Democritus’ universe is, first of all, the universe our sense of touch introduces to us. This universe is made up of atoms. Atoms are hard, have shape and take up space. We perceive the hardness and shape of objects by touch. The sense of touch introduces us to the real qualities of objects. Our senses of sight and hearing only introduce us to the universe of appearances. The assumption put forward by Democritus on the sense of sight was influential in a significant part of the Middle Ages.
Democrite; He saw that the images of objects outside were formed in the eye, and he concluded that this image separated from the objects and entered the eye. What comes to the eye by breaking away from the objects themselves is the image (imaginary) of the objects. Whereas, our sense of touch directly perceives the objects themselves. Our sense of sight, on the other hand, mediates our perception of the images, not the objects themselves.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook, Lecture Notes of Ernst von Aster