In Spite of Plato

In Spite of Plato : Feminist Rewriting of Ancient Philosophy

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Description

This pathbreaking work pursues two interwoven themes. Firstly, it engages in a deconstruction of Ancient philosophers' texts - mainly from Plato, but also from Homer and Parmenides - in order to free four Greek female figures from the patriarchal discourse which for centuries had imprisoned them in a particular role. Secondly, it attempts to construct a symbolic female order, reinterpreting these figures from a new perspective. Building on the theory of sexual difference, Cavarero shows that death is the central category on which the whole edifice of traditional philosophy is based. By contrast, the category of birth provides the thread with which new concepts of feminist criticism can be woven together to establish a fresh way of thinking. Cavarero develops a philosophical narrative which, by re-interpreting each of the four figures of Ancient thought, uncovers several images of the female desire for self-representation. Plato himself had not foreseen that one day female subjectivity would assert its autonomy, plundering and throwing into confusion the patriarchal text in order to tell another story. Written by one of Italy's leading feminist philosophers, this book will be of particular interest to students of feminist theory, philosophy, and literary theory.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 160 pages
  • 152 x 229mm | 380g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Italian
  • 0
  • 0745612598
  • 9780745612591

Review quote

"Now, with the publication, in an excellent translation, of Adriana Cavarero's In Spite of Plato, the important contribution of Italian feminist thought to a feminine "rewriting" of Western philosophy can begin to be fully appreciated, since in her path-breaking work on Plato, Cavarero delineates both the methodology and the subject-matter of a new philosophy ... [with] great elegance and insight ... In Spite of Plato introduces the English-speaking world to a major feminist thinker, whose ideas seem certain to engender heated discussion among philosophers as well as feminists." Times Literary Supplement "There is much challenge and interest in the four closely focused essays of which her book consists ... lively writing." Times Higher Education Supplement "Insightful glimpses into ancient Greek texts ... the most impressive thing about it ... is the completeness of the author's vision." The Heythrop Journal "This short, but rich and unsettling book eventually made a far more powerful impression on me than I had expected ... this is a book of unusual depth and originality." Women's Philosophy Review "With few translations available, Italian feminist philosophy has received little attention in the Anglophone world. This welcome addition helps redress that situation ... there is much in Cavarero's book which ought to make the non-feminist mainstream of philosophy sit up and take notice too." Radical Philosophy "This book is an important development in the theory of sexuate difference ... as all feminists live under the dying light of Plato's sun there is good reason to read 'In Spite of Plato'." Literature and Theologyshow more

Table of contents

Foreword by Rosi Braidotti. Translator's Note. Introduction. 1. Penelope. 2. The Maidservant from Thrace. 3. Demeter. 4. Diotima. Bibliography. Index.show more

Rating details

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