This study provides an integrated analysis of θυμός (thymós). A psychosomatic concept, found in Greek epics and medicine, θυμός designates courage as a “vital force around the chest”. Later, its meaning has been specified in two fields: 1) θυμός, thymós (philosophy), the irascible soul (θυμοειδές, thymoeides), parallel to the concupiscible soul and opposite to the rational one, according to Plato’s tripartition; 2) θύμος, thymus (anatomy), a cardiac gland of the vascular system. Today, the idea that θυμός, courage, and θύμος, cardiac gland, could have a common semantic root – θύειν (thyein) “to sacrifice by blowing and burning” – seems almost impossible. Our aim is to reconstitute the concept of θυμός, demonstrating how it has been reduced to a polarisation rational/irrational, and marginalised. We will examine the notion of θυμός in Greek tradition and describe one of its widespread manifestations, tattooing, both as a painful solicitation of interiority and for how the tattooed pictures reflect the personality of their wearers.

On Courage. The Sense Of θυμός, in M. Galletti, A. Niccoli, Emotions: From Cases to Theories. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 12(35), pp. 190-221 ISSN: 1972-1293

Migliore Tiziana Maria
2019-01-01

Abstract

This study provides an integrated analysis of θυμός (thymós). A psychosomatic concept, found in Greek epics and medicine, θυμός designates courage as a “vital force around the chest”. Later, its meaning has been specified in two fields: 1) θυμός, thymós (philosophy), the irascible soul (θυμοειδές, thymoeides), parallel to the concupiscible soul and opposite to the rational one, according to Plato’s tripartition; 2) θύμος, thymus (anatomy), a cardiac gland of the vascular system. Today, the idea that θυμός, courage, and θύμος, cardiac gland, could have a common semantic root – θύειν (thyein) “to sacrifice by blowing and burning” – seems almost impossible. Our aim is to reconstitute the concept of θυμός, demonstrating how it has been reduced to a polarisation rational/irrational, and marginalised. We will examine the notion of θυμός in Greek tradition and describe one of its widespread manifestations, tattooing, both as a painful solicitation of interiority and for how the tattooed pictures reflect the personality of their wearers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2682286
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