ON THE WEAK SELF OF THE HOMERIC MAN. IN CONNECTION WITH HERMANN SCHMITZ’S CONCEPTION OF LEIBLICHKEIT
The Self of the Homeric man can be called a weak one. Men depicted in the Iliad and in the Odyssey are determined by fate, gods’ plans and interventions, and their own emotional impulses perceived as independent forces. Hermann Schmitz links this weakness of the Self with the character of the Homeric man’s experience of the body. According to Schmitz the perception of the body as directly experienced, i.e. as Leib, constitutes the Homeric idea of man. This article stresses the point that the Homeric man cannot be considered as being directed only by the external forces and that the notion of Leib, however helpful, does not suffice to describe him. Being directed and being leiblich the Homeric man is also independent (or free). He is able to master the impulses of his emotions (cf. H. Fränkel), his actions seem to originate from himself (cf. A. Lesky), he can be regarded as a unity coordinated by his Self (cf. A. Lesky). The independence of the Homeric man is unstable: it can be said that it appears and disappears. This status of the human position seems to pose problems for a reader who is accustomed to modern notions of personal freedom, free will or choice. May that be a chance for us in our attempts to understand ourselves?