Heraclitus, Fragment 112 (D 7)


“[If all things turned to smoke, the nostrils would sort them out.]” (K 112; cp. D, S, R 7)

Heraclitus writes of various senses — sight, hearing, smell — while failing to discuss touch or taste. Of the senses he discusses, smell is the least trustworthy. “Whatever comes from sight, hearing, learning from experience: this I prefer” (F 14 [D55]). And compare “Eyes are surer witnesses than ears.” (F 15 [D101a]). Here he notes that smell does nonetheless provide some guidance for knowledge. But we are of course served by keeping in mind that the senses themselves are not enough for imparting knowledge: “Eyes and ears are poor witnesses for men if their souls do not understand the language” (F 16 [D 107]).

See the commentary on F 111 for a relation to that fragment.



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