macrocosm and microcosm

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The macrocosm is the world as a whole, with a microcosm being one small part, often mankind, taken as a model of it. Thus the universe may be regarded as a large living organism (see panpsychism). The idea was central to most Greek thought, and especially that of Pythagoras, Plato and subsequent Neoplatonism. In Leibniz the monads are microcosms of the world, since each in itself mirrors the entire universe.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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