Heraclitus’ Rebuke of Polymathy

A Core Element in the Reflectiveness of His Thought

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
Author: Keith Begley1
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Trinity College DublinDublinIreland
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


I offer an examination of a core element in the reflectiveness of Heraclitus’ thought, namely, his rebuke of polymathy. In doing so, I provide a response to a recent claim that Heraclitus should not be considered to be a philosopher, by attending to his paradigmatically philosophical traits. Regarding Heraclitus’ attitude to that naïve form of ‘wisdom’, i.e., polymathy, I argue that he does not advise avoiding experience of many things, rather, he advises rejecting experience of things as merely many independent things in their manifoldness, and, instead, to understand their unity and thereby to unify our knowledge of them.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 320 107 7
Full Text Views 7 5 0
PDF Views & Downloads 16 16 0