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Platonic Dualism Reconsidered

In: Phronesis
Author:
Suzanne Obdrzalek Department of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College Claremont, California USA

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Abstract

I argue that in the Phaedo, Plato maintains that the soul is located in space and is capable of locomotion and of interacting with the body through contact. Numerous interpreters have dismissed these claims as merely metaphorical, since they assume that as an incorporeal substance, the soul cannot possess spatial attributes. But careful examination of how Plato conceives of the body throughout his corpus reveals that he does not distinguish it from the soul in terms of spatiality. Furthermore, assigning spatial attributes to the soul plays an important role in Plato’s account of the relation of body and soul.

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