“If all things were to turn to smoke, it’d be the nostrils would tell them apart”

I start by asking what Aristotle knew (or thought) about Heraclitus: what were the key features of Heraclitus's philosophy as far as Aristotle was concerned? In this section of the paper I suggest that there are some patterns to Aristotle's references to Heraclitus: besides the classic doctrines (flux, ekpyrosis and the unity of opposites) on the one hand, and the opening of Heraclitus's book on the other, Aristotle knows and reports a few slightly less obvious sayings, one of which is in my title. Secondly, I ask some further questions. Is there any systematic connection between the bits that Aristotle reports? Do they hang together? Ought we to see here some relic of an Aristotelian understanding of what made Heraclitus tick? If we juxtapose these themes and Aristotle's comments on them, I suggest, we can generate some suggestive motifs, in particular a rather curious fascination with smoking, and the pleasures of inhaling. Finally, I suggest that smells (and the way the world would be if smells were the only differences to be discerned) are important in understanding what Heraclitus was doing.
Keywords Heraclitus  Aristotle  Perception
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D. O'Brien (1990). Héraclite et l'unité des opposés. Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 95 (2):147 - 171.
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