Corporeality and Thickness: Back on Melissus’ Fragment B9

Authors

  • Mathilde Brémond Université Clermont-Auvergne

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14195/1984-249X_31_23

Keywords:

Melissus, incorporeality, division, body, soul

Abstract

Melissus’ fragment B9, where he claims that being has no body and no thickness, raises the question of how being can be extended and full and at the same time incorporeal. Most recent interpretations tried to avoid lending to “body” the meaning of “physical body”. My aim in this paper is to reconstruct Melissus’ notion of body, by examining its connection to “thickness”. I show that Melissus meant by “thick” something that has distinct parts and therefore supports in B9 the indivisibility of being. I then indicate that he relied on the contrast between soul and body for his conception of corporeality, by highlighting that by Presocratic thinkers, the soul was considered as “thin” and regarded as something that could be exempt of the division into parts. I conclude that even though Melissus’ notion of incorporeality is very different from the one Plato will develop, he made a huge step toward its conceptualization.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

References

ALBERTELLI, P. (1939). Gli Eleati Bari, Laterza.

BARNES, J. (1982). The Presocratic Philosophers 2nd ed. London, Routledge & Kegan Paul.

BRÉMOND, M. (2017). Lectures de Mélissos Studia Praesocratica 9. Berlin, De Gruyter.

BRÉMOND, M. (2019). “Identity through Time: Melissus’s Demonstration that Being is Homoios.” Ancient Philosophy39, n.1, 23-42.

CURD, P. (2010). Anaxagoras: Fragments and Testimonia Toronto/Buffalo/London, Toronto University Press.

CURD, P. (2013). “Where are Love and Strife? Incorporeality in Empedocles.” In: MCCOY, J. (ed.) Early Greek Philosophy: the Presocratics and the Emergence of Reason. Washington (D.C.), Catholic University of America Press, p. 113-38.

CURD, P. (2016). Ruminations on Mansfeld’s Melissus. In: PULPITO, M. (ed.) Melissus between Miletus and Elea Sankt Augustin, Academia Verlag, p. 123-28.

DIELS, H. (1882). Simplicius. Simplicii in Aristotelis Physicorum libros quattuor priores commentaria Berlin, Reimer.

DIELS, H.; KRANZ, W. (1951). Die Fragmente Der Vorsokratiker 6th ed. Vol.1. Berlin, Weidmann.

DIELS, H.; KRANZ, W. (1952a). Die Fragmente Der Vorsokratiker 6th ed. Vol.2. Berlin, Weidmann.

GOMPERZ, H. (1932). Hermes67, n. 2, p. 155-67.

GUTHRIE, W. K. C. (1965). A History of Greek Philosophy Vol. II. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

HARRIMAN, B. (2019). Melissus and Eleatic Monism Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

HOLMES, B. (2014). The Symptom and the Subject: The Emergence of the Physical Body in Ancient Greece Princeton, Princeton University Press.

HUFFMAN, C. (2009). The Pythagorean Conception of the Soul from Pythagoras to Philolaos. In: D. FREDE, D; REIS, B. (eds.) Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy . Berlin/New York, De Gruyter, p. 21-44.

JOLY, R.; BYL, S. (eds.) (2003). Hippocratis de Diaeta 2nd ed. Berlin, Akademie Verlag.

KOHLER, G. (2015). Zenon von Elea. Studien zu den “Argumenten gegen die Vielheit” und zum sogenannten “Argument des Orts.” Berlin/Boston, De Gruyter.

LAKS, A. (1999). Soul, Sensation, and Thought. In: LONG, A. A. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy, Cambridge/New York, Cambridge University Press p. 250-70.

LAKS, A.; MOST, G. W. (eds.) (2016). Early Greek philosophy Vol. V. Cambridge (Mass.), Harvard University Press.

LEE, H. D. P. (1936). Zeno of Elea Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

LOENEN, J. H. (1959). Parmenides, Melissus, Gorgias: A Reinterpretation of Eleatic Philosophy Assen, Van Gorcum.

LONG, A. A. (1996). Parmenides on Thinking Being. Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy 12, n. 1, p. 125-51.

LORENZ, H. (2009). Ancient Theories of Soul. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Available at https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2009/entries/ancient-soul/ Accessed in 30/04/2020.

» https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2009/entries/ancient-soul/

MANSFELD, J. (2016). Melissus between Miletus and Elea In: PULPITO, M. (ed.) Melissus between Miletus and Elea Sankt Augustin, Academia Verlag , p. 71-114.

MCKIRAHAN, R. D. (2010). Philosophy before Socrates: An Introduction with Texts and Commentary 2nd ed. Indianapolis, Hackett.

OWEN, G. E. L. (1960). Eleatic Questions. The Classical Quarterly 10, n. 1, p. 84-102.

PALMER, J. (2003). On the Alleged Incorporeality of What Is in Melissus. Ancient Philosophy , n. 23, p. 1-10.

RAPP, C. (2006). Zeno and the Eleatic Anti-Pluralism. In: SASSI, M. M. (ed.) La Costruzione del discorso filosofico nell’età dei Presocratici Pisa, Edizioni della normale, p. 161-82.

RAPP, C. (2013). Melissos Aus Samos. In: H. FLASHAR, H.; BREMER, D.; RECHENAUER, G. (eds.). Die Philosophie Der Antike Grundriss Der Geschichte Der Philosophie 1 Basel, Schwabe, p. 573-98.

RAVEN, J. E. (1948). Pythagoreans and Eleatics Cambridge, University Press.

REALE, G. (1970). Melisso. Testimonianze e Frammenti Florence, La Nuova Italia.

RENEHAN, R. (1980). On the Greek Origins of the Concepts of Incorporeality and Immateriality. Greek Roman and Byzantine Studies, n. 21, p. 105-38.

SCHMALZRIEDT, E. (1970). Zur Frühgeschichte Der Buchtitel Munich, Wilhelm Fink.

SNELL, B. (2011). Die Entdeckung Des Geistes: Studien Zur Entstehung Des Europaischen Denkens Bei Den Griechen. 9th ed. Gottingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

UNTERSTEINER, M. (1953). “Un Aspetto dell’essere melissiano.” Rivista Critica Di Storia Della Filosofia, 8, 597-606.

VLASTOS, G. (1953). “Review of Pythagoreans and Eleatics .” Gnomon 25, n. 1, p. 29-35.

ZELLER, E. (1919). Die Philosophie Der Griechen In Ihrer Geschichtlichen Entwicklung Vol. 1.1. NESTLE, W. (ed.). 6th ed. Leipzig, Reisland.

Downloads

Published

2021-12-17

How to Cite

Brémond, M. (2021). Corporeality and Thickness: Back on Melissus’ Fragment B9. Revista Archai, (31). https://doi.org/10.14195/1984-249X_31_23

Issue

Section

Dossier Archai: Peri tou (me) ontos