Authors
Jana Schultz
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Abstract
In his commentary on Plato’s Parmenides Proclos describes the maternal and paternal contributions to reproduction as of equal value: The paternal seed furnishes potential λόγοι, the mother actualises them and so causes the reversion of the offspring. However, the definition of the mother as actualising cause is linked to the particular circumstances of conception in the sphere of nature. In general, Proclus bases his concept of femininity on the idea of a shared, but not equal activity by paternal and maternal causes. In the metaphysical sphere the maternal cause is distinguished by its inspiring activity, that is, it provokes the procession of powers that are permanently anchored in the father and so it enables the begetting of the offspring as an entity separate from the father. This activity involves a loss of perfection, which is the basis for a difference in value between the activities of the maternal and paternal causes.
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DOI 10.1515/phil-2018-0020
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Mütterliche Ursachen in Proklos’ Metaphysik.Jana Schultz - forthcoming - Philologus: Zeitschrift für Antike Literatur Und Ihre Rezeption.

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