For the ancient cultures of the world living in the natural environment of breathable air was regarded as sacred and known under the denominators such as ruah, aer, psyche, pneuma, prana, qi, ki, ik’, mana, or sila, among others. With the demise of ancient cosmological schemes especially in the West, material and elemental denominators such as ‘psyche’, ‘air’ and ‘breath’ quickly solidified into new metaphysically underpinned concepts of ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’ and the fact that our bodies are respiratory bodies was largely forgotten. Western philosophy became a story of masculine domination and the forgetting of the body and its vital breath one of its main features. This contribution will inquire into the forgotten history of breath and breathing within Western philosophy. This will be done by analysing ancient Greek pre-Socratic material philosophy or ‘aer’ and ‘psyche’ as followed by our analysis of the Platonic and post-Platonic anti-respiratory and anti-bodily gestures towards stable and solidified denominators such as ‘spirit’ and ‘ego’. By following some of the most important contributions to what we call respiratory philosophy from Feuerbach and Schelling to Merleau-Ponty and Irigaray, we will excavate and present a hidden genealogy of breath and breathing for the philosophical thinking of our age.