Plato's Transformation Of Matter

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Why and how do things change? What explains transformation of matter? (Chemistry) The idea of understanding what fundamental matter makes up the universe has always been one of science’s most sought after concept throughout history. The development of theories explaining the transformation of matter has progressed from a vague, philosophical Greek definition to the European Enlightment modern understanding of matter and ending with Dalton’s universally accepted “Atomic Theory”. Although this fundamental aspect of science isn’t necessarily any more complex than the nature of physics or description of cosmological bodies, the inability to visually see matter with the naked eye has made it more difficult to scientifically define throughout history. …show more content…
and 322 B.C.E. Unlike the group of fellow Greeks from pre-Socratic times who were trying to define matter in an elegant way, Plato and Aristotle were not amused by matter itself. They understood matter made up everything in an obvious way, however the form that the matter took was of more philosophic and scientific interest. Plato believed this definition of form or “idea” that defined matter was an abstract concept, while Aristotle, who was Plato’s student, believed the form of an object was contained in the object itself [2], in a more subjective manner. Both declared that the duality of form and matter were needed to completely define an object itself, however Aristotle rejected Plato’s need for a higher power to explain the mystery observed in “forms”. Aristotle is known for his godless definition of the universe and the matter-form interaction, however one of his greatest philosophical questions he ever contemplated was can an object exist without both form and matter. He declared that this is what God is, a matter-less concept with a specific purpose or form for existence [2]. During this era of Plato and Aristotle’s philosophical reign, even less logic and science was used than their predecessors, and the development toward a modern theory of understanding the transformation of matter would have to be put on hold for a significant amount of …show more content…
What Democritus was able to theorize about atoms before significant advancements in mathematics and science was truly astonishing, but the pressure of acceptance in society halted the progression of matter theory for centuries to follow. However, unlike the matter theory itself, the advancement of scientific reasoning is clearly seen throughout time, as Greeks based their theories on philosophical arguments and logic, while more modern understandings of matter during the Enlightment used geometric and mathematical descriptions to validate theories. The scientifically proven atomic theory definition of matter would have to wait until the 19th century, but without the philosophical development of understanding the general meaning of matter, Dalton would have never been able to develop his “Atomic Theory Model” in 1803

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