The dictum of Democritus and M16

M16: Inside the Eagle Nebula

‘Certainly Democritus said that though the mind thought ill of the senses because in themselves they did not reflect reality, yet it took its evidence from them…(the dictum of Democritus was) that phenomena are a window on the unseen. Through them, if we do not stop there, we can become aware of the nature of the invisible realities.

A man that looks on glasse

On it may stay his eye,

Or if he pleaseth, through it passe

And then the heav’n espie’

(George Herbert)

W.K.C.Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. 1, Cambridge University Press, 464.

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