The Soul is an Octopus

Ancient Ideas of Life and the Body

Excellence Cluster Topoi, 2016
136 pages, 164 × 245 mm
English and German edition
ISBN 978-3-9817965-0-6

Ed. by Uta Kornmeier, published alongside the exhibition The Soul is an Octopus. Ancient Ideas of Life and the Body in the Berlin Museum of Medical History at the Charité (11.05.–11.09.2016). The book presents key conceptions of body and soul that were developed by physicians and philosophers between 500 BC and 500 AD and connects them to our ideas today. While the exhibition focused mainly on the widely received and discussed views of Aristotle and Galen, the publications also presents less well-known perspectives, such as the Stoics’ view that the soul spreads through the body like the tentacles of an octopus.

In collaboration with Eva-Maria Bolz. Illustrations by Christoph Geiger.