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Frontiers of PleasureModels of Aesthetic Response in Archaic and Classical Greek Thought$
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Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199798322

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199798322.001.0001

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Eros (II)

Eros (II)

(p.128) 6 Eros (II)
Frontiers of Pleasure

Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi

Oxford University Press

This chapter continues the discussion about the relationship between aesthetics and desire, focusing exclusively on Plato’s Republic. Starting with the tenth book of the Republic, the chapter moves gradually backward, its final destination being a section of the third book that so far remains underexplored. Socrates’s explicit and implicit references to the encounter with poetry as being analogous to an affair with a hetaira are explored within a broader context, both Platonic and cultural. More light is shed on Plato’s views on desire in relation to the way mousikê affects the three parts of the soul throughout the Republic. The final section examines in detail the last part of Plato’s discussion about mousikê in the third book. The chapter concludes with a suggestion regarding the great importance of this discussion for understanding Plato’s meditation upon the tension between desire and aesthetic contemplation.

Keywords:   aesthetic contemplation, hetaira, Republic, tripartite division of soul

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