In this highly original study, James Luchte explores the ways in which the concept of transmigration is a central motif in Pythagoras’ philosophy, representing its fundamental meaning. Luchte argues that the many strands of the tale of transmigration come together in the Pythagorean philosophical movement, revealing a unity in which, for Pythagoreans, existence and eschatology are separated only by forgetfulness. Such an interpretation that seeks to retrieve the unity of Pythagorean thought goes against the grain of a long-standing tradition of interpretation that projects upon Pythagoras the segregation of ‘mysticism’ and ‘science’. Luchte lays out an alternative interpretation of Pythagorean philosophy as magical in the sense that it orchestrates a holistic harmonization of theoria and praxis and through this reading discloses the radical character of Pythagorean philosophy.
Pythagoras and the Doctrine of Transmigration: Wandering Souls