What is it about?
In De Anima, Aristotle reports that both the Pythagoreans and Democritus held that the psychē was a set of minimal corpuscles, that behaved as dust particles visible in sun rays. We investigate the similarities in the testimony of Aristotle’s De Anima between the reported Pythagorean and Democritean notions of psychē and the consequences of a corpuscular conception of psychē for the viability of metempsychosis.
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Why is it important?
We discuss the issues regarding the authenticity of Aristotle’s report, the viability of a corpuscular notion of psychē for the theory of metempsychosis and what might have led Aristotle to understand his sources in the way he reports. This is useful for both the studies of Pythagoreanism, Democritus and reception of early Greek philosophy in classical philosophy and forward.
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This page is a summary of: Was Democritus a Pythagorean? The Case of psychē, Méthexis, March 2021, Brill,
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