Immortality in Empedocles
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The paper examines Empedocles’ attributions of immortality. I argue that Empedocles does not withhold immortality from the gods but rather has an unorthodox conception of what immortality is. Immortality does not mean, or imply, endless duration. A god’s immortality is its continuity, as one and the same organism, over a long but finite period. This conception of divine immortality then influences Empedocles’ other attributions of immortality, each of which marks a contrast with discontinuity, real or apparent. The nature of this contrast varies from context to context, and there is considerable heterogeneity in the list of immortal items. On the other hand, the attribution of immortality never implies that the item is completely changeless.
Long , A 2017 , ' Immortality in Empedocles ' Apeiron , vol 50 , no. 1 , pp. 1-20 . DOI: 10.1515/apeiron-2015-0054
Copyright © 2016, Walter de Gruyter GmbH. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the final published version of the work, which was originally published at http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/apeiron-2015-0054
Most of the work for the paper was undertaken in Toronto during a Leverhulme Research Fellowship.
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