The tripartite soul as metaphor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

As Plato might have said, but didn't, all soul is metaphor. This paper explores the implications of this in the tripartite model of the soul as deployed in the account of the deviant personality types in Republic 8 and 9. The levels of the hierarchy and the stages of degeneration from the ideal make frequent use of personification. Agency, however, is not attributed only to the εἴδη of the ψυχή, but also to the individual and to his desires. Interaction takes place between the individual and the εἴδη of his ψυχή, but also between the individual and his desires, as well as between desire and desire, and between the εἴδη of the ψυχή. There is interaction between one individual and another, but also between one individual and various personified elements of another’s personality. Since personification characterizes the model at all levels, it makes no sense to ask what the ἐπιθυμητικόν (for example) can ‘really’ do; it is only in so far as it is personified that it can ‘do’ anything. The tenor of the metaphor is not some non-metaphorical or less metaphorical version of the tripartite soul, but simply the person.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlato and the Power of Images
EditorsP. Destrée , R.G. Edmunds
Place of PublicationLeiden
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventPlato and the power of images - Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr , United States
Duration: 11 Oct 201312 Oct 2013


ConferencePlato and the power of images
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBryn Mawr


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