Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Dumb Beasts and Dead PhilosophersHumanity and the Humane in Ancient Philosophy and Literature$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Catherine Osborne

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282067

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282067.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 October 2019

On the Transmigration of Souls: Reincarnation Into Animal Bodies in Pythagoras, Empedocles, and Plato

On the Transmigration of Souls: Reincarnation Into Animal Bodies in Pythagoras, Empedocles, and Plato

Chapter:
(p.43) 3 On the Transmigration of Souls: Reincarnation Into Animal Bodies in Pythagoras, Empedocles, and Plato
Source:
Dumb Beasts and Dead Philosophers
Author(s):

Catherine Osborne (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282067.003.0003

This chapter considers what is involved in the claim that some species are ‘similar to’ or ‘different from’ ourselves, and what role such claims play in moral discourse. Examples are taken from the reincarnation theories of Pythagoreans, Empedocles, and Plato, which suggest that animal souls are in some way the same as human souls. Texts discussed include Xenophanes (on Pythagoras and the puppy), Empedocles (on animal sacrifice), and Plato's Timaeus (on the creation of all animals as human animals in the first generation). The chapter argues that moral philosophy is not grounded in biology, but rather that the psychological and biological agenda is motivated by prior commitment to the truth of a certain moral outlook.

Keywords:   Pythagorean, Timaeus, Xenophanes, Pythagoras, Reincarnation, metempsychosis, animal sacrifice, soul, similarity, difference

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .