Democritus and logic

In this article we present and analyze in an original way two quotes from the ancient Greek Philosopher Democritus that refer to logic.


First Quote:

(in ancient Greek) “Λύπην αδέσποτον ψυχής ναρκώσης λογισμώ έκκρουε”


Struck with logic the uncontrolled grief of the deeply sleeping soul


Second Quote:

(in ancient Greek) “Άλογοι των αξυνέτων αι ελπίδες”


The hopes of unwise/imprudent people are irrational


First of all, it is very important to note that Democritus believes in the existence of the soul. The soul, according to him, may be in a state of sleep or in a state of awakeness (conlcusion through the opposite). His suggested tool for the guidance of the soul is logic. If a human does not possess logic (roughly meaning; processional and structured thinking that recognizes ‘self-evident’ and ‘objective realities’) control of one’s own soul is not possible! When one has been deprived of this tool, due to either lack of deeply cultured education or due to an opposite Propagandistic action from a ruling system since childhood, then becomes an absolutely controlled subject in the hands of possible skillful manipulators. Human control has been a timeless aim of any form of Power. And, really, there is no better way to achieve this other than depriving people from logic! As, people living in such condition, cannot even realize their true state, while it is extremely difficult to accept the truth even if someone tries  to expose it to them. And, of course, which is the main point, noone deprived of logic will ever be able to resist to a possible thirsty-for-control Power. Analyzing the quote more in depth, we notice that the actual aim of Power is our very soul, which follows directly after the plundering of our intellect. Democritus, with his reference to ‘grief‘, claims that through logic we are being able to control the sentimental part of the soul. At this point, let us give a practical example so as to help the deeper understanding of the statement: Let us have a person who faces a temporary problem (of any nature). The pain and suffering are indeed real. But, the extent of pain, is it real? Because a simple exploratory glance around will show him much worse cases of human pain, which should reduce the extent of grief automatically to the person initially considering his situation unbearable. Also, the logical processing of the facts will convince (almost always) him that for the pain he feels a small or vast share of responsibility lies on his own practical choices. How then will a person who controls himself with logic allow uncontrollable emotional blows? He will not. It is that simple. At this point let us add the factor ‘God’ in the ‘equation’. According to the ancient Greek Philosophers, but the Orthodox Christian Fathers as well, the only truly logical person is the one who is godly (pious, devout) and inspired by God. This type of person knows well that everything is defined above, always bearing in mind though (please note the extreme importance of this) that whatever happens is firstly due to his thoughts, choices, acts and intention. And thus he thinks and acts in every level.

In the second quote Democritus sets ‘prudence‘ as a prerequisite of well-founded hope. A man who has no ‘prudence’ lives in a permanent dialectical relationship with the irrational and irrational/unfounded hope. Actually, what else rather than desires (smaller or bigger ‘wants’) are most of human hopes? Therefore, what the Philosopher says here in a few words is that lack/absence of prudence implies lack/absence of logic. And this gives birth to absurdity/irrationality in our everyday life, because we are our choices! Now we can realize one of the main reasons why some Power which seeks to be imposed upon people, in depth and completely, pushes/impels and addicts, through the established order’s Education and the Mass Media, people in an imprudent and loose life: because the imprudent man cannot use logic, cannot think rationally, therefore he will never be able to create plans and conditions so as to resist to such a regime. We have to add that the majority of the people who grow and live in ‘Western type’ societies is trapped in overweening ambitions and irrational desires.

[Concluding, we suggest a read of the following articles; it is essential for everyone to understand  the actual meaning of the word ‘Philosophy‘, according to the ancient Greeks who invented the term, and prove why the term is used in an utterly wrong way in our times.


Research-Analysis for NovoScriptorium: Isidoros Aggelos

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