Philosophers essay contest

You have asked me, Lucilius, why, if a Providence rules the world, it still happens that many evils befall good men. This would be more fittingly answered in a coherent work designed to prove that a Providence does preside over the universe, and that God concerns himself with us.

Philosophers essay contest

Democritus spent the inheritance which his father left him on travels into distant countries, to satisfy his thirst for knowledge.

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He traveled to Asia, and was even said to have reached India and Ethiopia. He particularly mentions the Egyptian mathematicianswhose knowledge he praises.

Philosophers essay contest

Theophrastustoo, spoke of him as a man who had seen many countries. He traveled throughout Greece to acquire a better knowledge of its cultures. He mentions many Greek philosophers in his writings, and his wealth enabled him to purchase their writings.

Leucippusthe founder of atomismwas the greatest influence upon him. He also praises Anaxagoras.

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One story has him deliberately blinding himself in order to be less disturbed in his pursuits; [23] it may well be true that he lost his sight in old age. He was cheerful, and was always ready to see the comical side of life, which later writers took to mean that he always laughed at the foolishness of people.

Most sources say that Democritus followed in the tradition of Leucippus and that they carried on the scientific rationalist philosophy associated with Miletus.

Both were thoroughly materialistbelieving everything to be the result of natural laws.

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Unlike Aristotle or Plato, the atomists attempted to explain the world without reasoning as to purpose, prime moveror final cause. For the atomists questions of physics should be answered with a mechanistic explanation "What earlier circumstances caused this event?

Aesthetics Later Greek historians consider Democritus to have established aesthetics as a subject of investigation and study, [29] as he wrote theoretically on poetry and fine art long before authors such as Aristotle.

Specifically, Thrasyllus identified six works in the philosopher's oeuvre which had belonged to aesthetics as a discipline, but only fragments of the relevant works are extant; hence of all Democritus's writings on these matters, only a small percentage of his thoughts and ideas can be known.

Atomic hypothesis See also: Atomism The theory of Democritus held that everything is composed of "atoms", which are physically, but not geometrically, indivisible; that between atoms, there lies empty space; that atoms are indestructible, and have always been and always will be in motion; that there is an infinite number of atoms and of kinds of atoms, which differ in shape and size.

Of the mass of atoms, Democritus said, "The more any indivisible exceeds, the heavier it is". But his exact position on atomic weight is disputed. They reasoned that the solidness of the material corresponded to the shape of the atoms involved. Thus, iron atoms are solid and strong with hooks that lock them into a solid; water atoms are smooth and slippery; salt atoms, because of their taste, are sharp and pointed; and air atoms are light and whirling, pervading all other materials.

Moreover, connections were explained by material links in which single atoms were supplied with attachments: In contrast, modern, quantum-mechanical atoms interact via electric and magnetic force fields and are far from inert.

The theory of the atomists appears to be more nearly aligned with that of modern science than any other theory of antiquity. However, the similarity with modern concepts of science can be confusing when trying to understand where the hypothesis came from.

Classical atomists could not have had an empirical basis for modern concepts of atoms and molecules. However, Lucretiusdescribing atomism in his De rerum naturagives very clear and compelling empirical arguments for the original atomist theory.

He observes that any material is subject to irreversible decay. Through time, even hard rocks are slowly worn down by drops of water. Things have the tendency to get mixed up: Mix water with soil and mud will result, seldom disintegrating by itself. However, there are mechanisms in nature and technology to recreate "pure" materials like water, air, and metals.THE DIALOGUES OF LUCIUS ANNAEUS SENECA BOOK I TO LUCILIUS ON PROVIDENCE+.

Why, though there is a Providence, some Misfortunes befall Good Men. Why Historical Distance is not a Problem. MARK BEVIR.

History and Theory, Theme Issue 50 (December ), This essay argues that concerns about historical distance arose along with modernist historicism, and they disappear with postfoundationalism.

Robert Kagan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a contributing columnist for The Post. Publication history. On the Basis of Morality was written for an essay contest of a Danish academy. Unlike Schopenhauer’s other essay on ethics, On the Freedom of the Will, which had been crowned by a Norwegian academy, this essay was not awarded a prize despite being the only response which the academy had the essay, .

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