Single Idea 5880

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 2. Psuche]

Full Idea

Xenocrates denied that the soul had form or any substance, but said that it was number, and the power of number, as had been held by Pythagoras long before, was the highest in nature.

Gist of Idea

Xenocrates held that the soul had no form or substance, but was number


report of Xenocrates (fragments/reports [c.327 BCE]) by M. Tullius Cicero - Tusculan Disputations I.x.20

Book Reference

Cicero: 'Tusculan Disputations', ed/tr. King,J.E. [Harvard Loeb 1927], p.25

A Reaction

This shows how strong the Pythagorean influence was in the Academy. This is not totally stupid. Dawkins holds that the essence of DNA is information, which can be expressed mathematically. Xenocrates was a functionalist.