The Diffusion of Perspectives in Heraclitus’ Doctrine of the Soul

Hynek Bartoš

The article attempts to consider some of the traditional interpretations of Heraclitus’ concept of the soul and to suggest a new way of reading. It is based on discrimination of two different points of view from which we can read Heraclitus’ teaching about the soul. The first mode is called „projective“ and is focused on the physical world around us. From this point of view, the soul takes part in all cosmic processes and the soul in this sense must, for instance, rise and decay (as everything else). The second mode is called „introspective“ and it describes the innermost psychological processes of our own as well as of others. From this psychological point of view, it is possible to say nothing or very little about birth and death of the soul for these are the limits of our own inner experience. Neither of both suggested modes of reading, „projective“ and „introspective“, excludes the other; on the contrary, they often complement each other and help us to gain a better and more complex understanding of Heraclitus’ psychological concepts.