Online Encyclopedia

MICROCOSM

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 381 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MICROCOSM, a term often applied in philosophical and in general literature to man regarded as a " little world " (Gr. wcp6s K60'µos) in opposition to the " macrocosm," great world, in which he lives. From the dawn of speculative thought in Greece the analogy between man and the world has been a common-place, and may be traced from Heraclitus and Empedocles, through Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, the Schoolmen and the thinkers of the Renaissance down to the present day. Thus Lotze's comprehensive survey of mental and moral science is termed Microcosmos The most systematic expression of the tendency indicated by the term is the monadology of Leibnitz, in which the monad is regarded as containing within its own closed sphere an expression of the universe, the typical created monad being the human soul.
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