Heraclitus, Fragment 60 (D 87)


Fragment 60: A fool loves to get excited on any account.

Cp. Robinson’s wordier version: “A stupid (sluggish?) person tends to become all worked up over every statement” (F 87; cp. R, S, DK 87, L&M D8).

Some of Heraclitus’ statements seem to point to the foolishness of all men. Others point to the foolishness of some. Fragments 56-58 speak generally of the opinions of men as lacking. Yet, Heraclitus also speaks in some places of the possibility that all men have for thinking well (F 29).

Here Heraclitus’ focus is on a subclass of humans: those with childish ideas, with ideas that are mere “playthings” but who don’t recognize their ideas as such. Here, Heraclitus isn’t even speaking of people who just get riled at ideas that counter their own views. He’s speaking of people who get worked up at hearing anything at all. They do not want to hear any but their own accounts. As Heraclitus says in Fragment 3: “Although the account is shared, most men live as though their thinking were a private possession.”


Share Post :

Leave a Reply