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By Dorothea Frede, Burkhard Reis

The matter of physique and soul has a protracted heritage that may be traced again to the beginnings of Greek tradition. The existential query of what occurred to the soul in the mean time of dying, no matter if and in what shape there's existence after demise, and of the precise dating among physique and soul was once spoke back in numerous methods in Greek philosophy, from the early days to past due Antiquity. The contributions during this quantity not just do justice to the breadth of the subject, in addition they hide the full interval from the Pre-Socratics to overdue Antiquity. specific consciousness is paid to Plato, Aristotle and Hellenistic philosophers, that's the Stoics and the Epicureans.

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45). I have already responded to these doubts (Huffman 1993, 311). In Empedocles, the psychic faculties of the living body are explained solely in material terms (Long 1966); thought is the blood around the heart (fr. 105). The nature of Empedocles’ transmigrating daimones is controversial. Long argues that they are incorporeal and that Empedocles never made clear how or if they are related to four elements, love and strife (1966: 274 – 276); those who want to reconcile Empedocles’ views on physics with this religious views have often thought of the daimones as bits of love (O’Brien 1969, 325 – 336) or related to love in some way (Kahn 1993).

Some of Plato’s comments in the eschatological myth at the end of the Republic point in this direction; he suggests that Ajax was reborn as a lion, Agamemnon as an eagle and Thersites as an ape, each human becoming the animal appropriate to his character (620b-c). On the other hand, by not including intellect in the psychÞ Pythagoras avoided an important problem. One awkward feature of transmigration is the idea that a human soul is in some way forced to live in the body of an animal for a period of time.

Whatever term was used, what were the details of the Pythagorean theory of transmigration? Do all living things have an immortal soul? Was the soul reborn in plants as well as animals as it is in Empedocles? Are souls reborn in all animals or only certain ones? Most fundamentally did the Pythagoreans have a coherent view of the soul which could provide answers to these questions? There are also problems concerning the continuity of the Pythagorean conception of the soul. The standard interpretation of Philolaus, who wrote 50 – 75 years after Pythagoras’ death, argues that for him the term psychÞ was not used to designate a comprehensive soul containing all psychological faculties.

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