Who is Archytas?December 13, 2020
We know that the most important achievements of Pythagoreans are the effort to explain the universe with mathematical thoughts. However, the Pythagoreans eventually made mathematics a intuitionism (mystic) of numbers.
According to them, it is possible and necessary to show all the proportions between objects by numbers. Pythagoreans believe that the universe of numbers may be an example of the real universe. By examining this real example, we will also grasp the nature, which is an image of it. This understanding is undoubtedly exaggerated. However, this kind of exaggeration is always encountered in first thinking.
This idea, which is actually correct and useful, was immediately exaggerated and wanted to be applied to every field. Another feature of the Pythagoreans is their dualism (dualism). They adopt that there are two elements in the universe, one opposite to the other. One of these items is “unlimited” space.
The other is the one that draws a “border” in this limitless area. Space is unlimited. There is no gap in this space, it is adjacent. What is limited are the points placed in this space. Starting from this view, Pythagoras reach a view of the universe that is the exact opposite of Democrit’s.
We know that Demokrit posited an empty space. However, the Pythagoreans identify space with matter. In other words, they believe that space is a liquid substance of the same kind and that it makes transformative movements in liquid. Democrite moves atoms in empty space. We are witnessing that this opposition between Pythagoreans and Democrit is updated again in the new philosophy of time.
XVII. and XVIII. One of the two contradictory physics conceptions in the 19th century is driven by Democrit, the other more from Archytas (Descartes physics).
Archytas and his cohorts criticize Demokrit’s predominance, especially on the sense of touch. Indeed, according to Demokrit, it is our sense of touch that introduces us to the true structure of the object. Other sensations only introduce us to aspects of the object.
However, according to Pythagoras, our sense of touch misleads us, like our other senses. For example, things outside create a color effect on our eyes. Touching something also creates a hardness effect on our hands. This is why our sense of touch is absolutely no different from our sense of sight. If the object lacks color in terms of its real structure, it also lacks hardness. The real nature of the object towards its structure; taking up space is taking up space.
We learn about the next Pythagoras, especially from Plato’s “Timaios” dialogue. The real success of these Pythagoreans is in the field of astronomy. Their astronomy basically comes close to modern astronomy, that of Copernicus. Pythagoras were, above all, the first astronomers to understand the earth as a moving star rather than the fixed center of the universe.
Pythagoreans accept that there is a fire in the center of the universe and that the world revolves around the fire in this center. Apart from the earth, the sun and five planets revolve around this central fire. However, we know that Antiquity, and especially Aristotle, adopted the opposite view.
According to Aristotle, the world is at the center of the universe. The sun and other stars move around the earth. According to Pythagoras, one side of the world is constantly facing the fire in the center. This is why we cannot see the fire in the center and we think that the sun and the stars are revolving around the earth during the movement of the earth around this fire.
However, this is a completely wrong impression of the movement of the world. After that, it would be enough to take one more step to admit that the world also rotates around its own axis, and this step was taken by the last Pythagoreans. Finally, a Pythagorean scholar, who was from the Academy of Plato, made the sun the center of the universe and thus approached Copernicus completely.
We know that Copernicus was not alien to the astronomical assumptions of Antiquity, that he knew them, and that he seriously studied those who pioneered his assumption. Both in the Antiquity and in the Middle Ages, due to the dominance of Aristotle’s authority, the results of the Pythagoreans in the field of astronomy did not attract attention, the world was considered the center of the universe in both ages and the view that all other stars revolve around the world was adopted. Thus, we conclude the first part of Greek philosophy, that is, the first part of this philosophy which deals with natural phenomena.
These early philosophers were particularly interested in nature. The distinctive feature of these is that they are natural philosophers. The philosophers we have mentioned so far are in fact natural scientists, and somewhat pro-innovation thinkers in the field of religion. Almost all of them are not interested in just one subject: it is the issue of man and the creation of man. Alone
For Demokrit, we know that the issue of history poses a problem. Demokrit is the last example of this generation. But between these early natural philosophers and Democrit, there is a community of thinkers, which we will consider now, that primarily dealt with the human issue. It is common to call this community of philosophers by a certain name.