Platonic Concept Of The Body Analysis

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In her article ‘Woman as Body: Ancient and Contemporary Views’, Elisabeth V. Spelman analyzed the implications of the mind-body dualism pointing out that associations of mind with masculinity and body with femininity are prevalent in Plato’s philosophy. Furthermore, she accuses Plato for contradicting himself while depicting images of women based on this dualism. I would like to show that her attempt to portrayed Plato as misogynist is inaccurate. In doing so I am drawing on a selection of texts from Plato that has been cited by Spelman.
The Platonic concept of the mind and the body
Spelman considers it is important to see the connections between what Plato says about women and his philosophical position on mind-body dualism. According to
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But it is fairly unfair to depict him a misogynist based on these apparent contradictions. We can divide up Plato’s writings into three time periods; early writings, middle period writings, and later writings. Hence, we can ignore Spelman’s objection simply by saying that Plato seems to have changed his mind about women between early writings and middle period writings, or middle period writings and later writings, or early writings and later writings. The Republic was Plato’s middle period writing. Other dialogues of his middle period also support the view that Plato was an egalitarian: “virtue does not ‘differ, in its character as virtue, whether it be in a child or an old man, a woman or a man’” as cited by Spelman. Furthermore, the Symposium which was one of his early writings gave women a genetic and biological status equal to that of men (lo9A). Moreover, Plato 's commitment to a theory of transmigration of the soul permits persons to have numerous lives in many forms. In this life, I am a man; in the next, I might be an animal, a different sort of man, or most significantly, a woman (Republic. 62oa-d). Hence, souls are fundamentally sexless. Therefore, the nature o f a woman is no different from that of a man: both are sexless souls

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