On the Physical Aspect of Heraclitus' Psychology

Phronesis 52 (1):3-32 (2007)
Abstract
The paper first discusses the metaphysical framework that allows the soul's integration into the physical world. A close examination of B36, supported by the comparative evidence of some other early theories of the soul, suggests that the word psuchê could function as both a mass term and a count noun for Heraclitus. There is a stuff in the world, alongside other physical elements, that manifests mental functions. Humans, and possibly other beings, show mental functions in so far as they have a portion of that stuff. Turning to the physical characterization of the soul, the paper argues that B36 is entirely consistent with the ancient testimonies that say that psuchê for Heraclitus is exhalation. But exhalations cover all states of matter from the lowest moist part of atmospheric air to the fire of celestial bodies. If so, psuchê for Heraclitus is both air and fire. The fact that psuchê can manifest the whole range of physical properties along the dry-wet axis guarantees that souls can show different intellectual and ethical properties as well. Moreover, Sextus Empiricus, supported by some other sources, provides us with an answer how portions of soul stuff are individuated into individual souls. The paper closes with a brief discussion of the question whether, and if so with what qualifications, we can apply the term 'physicalism' to Presocratic theories of the soul
Keywords PSYCHOLOGY   COSMOLOGY   SOUL   MIND   HERACLITUS
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 13,595
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

41 ( #50,706 of 1,692,540 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #57,552 of 1,692,540 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.