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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 11, Issue 2, Spring 2007

Jena G. Jolissaint
Pages 333-352
DOI: 10.5840/epoche200711216

Sacred Doorways
Tracing the Body in Plato’s Timaeus

This paper develops a structural parallel between the maternal/feminine body in Greek mythology and the figure of the body in Plato’s Timaeus. Historically Plato is often portrayed as a thinker who is concerned with the corporeal only insofar as philosophy is engaged in transcending bodily limitations. Yet the Timaeus is not engaged in producing a dualistic opposition between the intelligible and the sensible, nor is Platonic philosophy a rejection of life in favor of the perfect wisdom that comes with death. The following work will suggest that the Timaeus is a dialogue deeply concerned with the question of birth and corporeality and that this concern is disclosed (and not repressed) in and through Timaeus’s evocation of the body.

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