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“Shades” of Postmortem Personal Identity: ψυχή καὶ εἴδωλον in the Dream Passage (Il. 23.103-104)

  • In a recent contribution entitled, “Homer’s Challenge to Philosophical Psychology,” Fred Miller proposes an “aporetic approach” to the Homeric poems. That is to say, a close reading of the epics reveals “serious aporiai,” at least insofar as philosophical consistency is concerned. Homeric readers, ancient and modern alike, have found irreconcilably-different answers to our perennial questions about humanity and divinity, fate and free will. To his credit, Miller rightly relieves Homer of an undue burden – viz., that of addressing the philosophical problems of later generations. “The analysis of concepts and the resolution of aporiai”: these are, as Miller notes, definitively not the priorities of an epic bard. Instead, such poets, working freely within the parameters of their oral traditions, understandably use language in ways not strictly-philosophical. Ultimately, Miller wants to argue that the ambiguities of Homer’s poetic language hastened Greece’s philosophical awakening...

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Author:Bryan Y. Norton
Parent Title (German):FeRA : Frankfurter elektronische Rundschau zur Altertumskunde
Publisher:Inst. für Archäologische Wissenschaften
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2013
Year of first Publication:2013
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/02/03
Page Number:7
First Page:5
Last Page:11
Institutes:Philosophie und Geschichtswissenschaften / Geschichtswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:9 Geschichte und Geografie / 93 Geschichte des Altertums (bis ca. 499), Archäologie / 930 Geschichte des Altertums bis ca. 499, Archäologie
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht