Heraclitus, Fragment 61 (D 97)


Fragment 61: “Dogs bark at those they do not recognize” (Kahn, cp. R, S, DK 97, L&M D9.)

Kahn constructively reads Fragment 61 together with Fragment 60. Those  who get worked up over any new idea that might threaten them cannot engage thought with the sophistication needed to understand the true account.

Perhaps Heraclitus was thinking of these special kinds of sluggish dogmatists when he wrote: “Not knowing how to listen, neither can they speak” (F 17). They bark instead.

In various fragments, Heraclitus points to a certain competencies needed to think well. The ability to listen to things one does not know is one of them.

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