Jana Schultz
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
ABSTRACTWithin the Platonic dualistic conception of body and soul the difference between maleness and femaleness might appear to be a difference which only concerns the body, that is a difference which is not essential for determining who a certain human is. One might argue that, since humans are essentially their souls and souls are genderless, men and women are essentially equal. As my paper shows, though, Plato's and Proclus’ writings set out two ways of conceptualizing human souls themselves as ‘sexed’ and of doing this in a way that female souls are determined to be inferior to male souls. By Plato's account, souls are indeed genderless in terms of their essence, but they attain maleness through virtuous and femaleness through vicious activities. Proclus, by contrast, conceptualizes souls as essentially ‘male’ or ‘female’. A soul in whose essence the Different predominates is female, while a soul in whose substance the Same predominates is male. And since the attainment and...
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DOI 10.1080/09608788.2018.1551779
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