CHALUPA, Aleš. Pythia and inspired divination in the Delphic oracle : cognitive perspective. In 11th EASR Conference Ends and Beginnings, 23.-26.srpna 2012, Stockholm, Švédsko. 2012.
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Basic information
Original name Pythia and inspired divination in the Delphic oracle : cognitive perspective
Name in Czech Pythie a inspirovaná věštba v Delfské věštírně : kognitivní perspektiva
Authors CHALUPA, Aleš (203 Czech Republic, guarantor, belonging to the institution).
Edition 11th EASR Conference Ends and Beginnings, 23.-26.srpna 2012, Stockholm, Švédsko, 2012.
Other information
Original language English
Type of outcome Presentations at conferences
Field of Study 60300 6.3 Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Country of publisher Sweden
Confidentiality degree is not subject to a state or trade secret
RIV identification code RIV/00216224:14210/12:00060666
Organization unit Faculty of Arts
Keywords (in Czech) Delfská věštírna; Pýthie; etylénová hypotéza; strukturovaná disociovaná identita
Keywords in English Delphic oracle; Pythia; Ethylene Hypothesis; patterned dissociative identity
Tags rivok
Tags International impact
Changed by Changed by: Mgr. Vendula Hromádková, učo 108933. Changed: 12. 4. 2013 15:35.
This paper attempts to evaluate possible contribution of cognitive psychology to our understanding of Pythia's role in divinatory procedures taking place in the Delphic Oracle. In previous scholarship there was a deep-rooted tendency to search for a natural substance whose digestion/inhalation should cause changes in Pythia's mental state. These efforts have recently been revived in the form of much advertised "Ethylene hypothesis", purportedly harmonizing information of ancient sources with scientific knowledge of modern geology and chemistry. It will be argued, however, that the actual merit of these "retrospective diagnoses" remains problematic, because it is often founded on a simplistic or one-sided interpretation of complex historical sources which reduces their scientific value. On the other hand, based on the a research done in the field of cognitive psychology, it will be proposed that Pythia's mental state can be classified as an instance of Patterned Dissociative Identity, which is very often emicly understood as a possession of human mind by spiritual beings. This new approach can, if carefully undertaken, produce some valuable insights about the working of the Delphic Oracle and possibly supplement missing pieces in our historiographical sources.
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