Zara Yaqob and The Rationality of the Human Heart

According to the Ethiopian philosopher, the heart is a cradle of wisdom, not irrationality

To Zara Yaqob – a seventeenth-century Ethiopian rationalist, the heart is, broadly, a symbol of wisdom. But surprisingly, in analytic terms, the heart is, for him, also a symbol of reason.

That is: 

1. The Heart is a symbol of reason.

2.  Humans can reason.

3. They reason with the heart.

Before Yaqob, ancient Egyptians also embraced the heart as a cradle of thought. They mummified the human heart and sucked out the brain. The heart captured their imagination and stimulated their reasoning power and wisdom. It is said that hearts were lifted and soaked in wines and herbs, preserved for worship by saints. The Egyptians were cardiocentrists. They considered the brain worthless, and worshipped the heart instead.  

Aristotle too thought of the heart as the symbol of thinking. As the son of a biologist, and influenced by his father, and accustomed to shrewd observation, h

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