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The Feminine SymptomAleatory Matter in the Aristotelian Cosmos$
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Emanuela Bianchi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823262182

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823262182.001.0001

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The Errant Feminine in Plato’s Timaeus

The Errant Feminine in Plato’s Timaeus

(p.85) Chapter Three The Errant Feminine in Plato’s Timaeus
The Feminine Symptom

Emanuela Bianchi

Fordham University Press

This chapter returns to Plato’s Timaeus as the cosmological precursor of Aristotle’s natural philosophy. It focuses on the central part of the dialogue, where a “third kind” or “errant cause” is added to Being and Becoming as a proto-material context or space which provides the basis for Being’s embodiment as the world of Becoming in the cosmogony. Variously called receptacle, chôra (space), necessity, gold, a nurse, a mother, a wax tablet, the substrate of an ointment, the receptacle/chôra is a restless figure, and also the source of cosmic motion. The relationship among being, becoming, and persuasion is examined, and the feminine valence of the receptacle/chôra is explored in relation to its uptake by Kristeva, Irigaray, Derrida, and Sallis. The errancy and femininity of the receptacle/chôra means that it offers a certain potential for aleatory feminism that is reduced, pacified, and systematized in Aristotelian matter.

Keywords:   Plato, Timaeus, Chora, Receptacle, Cosmogony, Feminine, Feminism, Becoming, Persuasion, Motion

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