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Coming to LifePhilosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering$
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Sarah LaChance Adams and Caroline R. Lundquist

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823244607

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823244607.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 29 July 2021

Plato, Maternity, and Power

Plato, Maternity, and Power

Can We Get a Different Midwife?

(p.30) (p.31) 1 Plato, Maternity, and Power
Coming to Life

Cynthia D. Coe

Fordham University Press

In this chapter I argue that dominant narratives surrounding pregnancy and motherhood remain beholden to a Platonic devaluation of becoming, which draws a binary dichotomy between mothers and thinkers (especially philosophers), and constructs both pregnant women and young children as fundamentally fragile creatures. The resulting maternal anxiety normalizes fundamentally neurotic ways of relating to ourselves, to our children, and to the world around us. Given how powerfully the dichotomies of vulnerability/virility and embodiment/intellect operate within our understanding of reproduction, in order to address these issues we must pursue a much larger conceptual shift in order to work free of our Platonic melancholy.

Keywords:   Plato, Luce Irigaray, maternity, pregnancy, fragility, becoming, anxiety

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