Women on Love — Idealization in the Philosophies of Diotima ( Symposium ) and Murasaki Shikibu ( The Tale of Genji )

Women on Love — Idealization in the Philosophies of Diotima ( Symposium ) and Murasaki Shikibu... Abstract Given culturally imposed limitations on women’s participation in intellectual pursuits, it is behooves us to explore a wide spectrum of sources when searching for women philosophers in the annals of human history. In ancient Greece, Socrates expounded the philosopher of Diotima in Plato’s Symposium ; in Heian Japan Murasaki Shikibu penned the world’s first psychological novel, The The Tale of Genji , layered with Buddhist insight. Their common themes are beauty, love, longing, and liberation grounded in idealization. The essay is structured as a dialectical exchange between theory and praxis , by applying Diotima’s theory of eros and beauty to the main characters in Murasaki’s novel. We then analyze why the title character, Genji, like Alcibiades in the Symposium , fails to realize the erotic mission outlined by Diotima. Finally author Murasaki’s alternative Buddhist theory of love is extrapolated from the lives and thoughts of her central female characters. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

Women on Love — Idealization in the Philosophies of Diotima ( Symposium ) and Murasaki Shikibu ( The Tale of Genji )

Philosophy East and West

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1529-1898
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Given culturally imposed limitations on women’s participation in intellectual pursuits, it is behooves us to explore a wide spectrum of sources when searching for women philosophers in the annals of human history. In ancient Greece, Socrates expounded the philosopher of Diotima in Plato’s Symposium ; in Heian Japan Murasaki Shikibu penned the world’s first psychological novel, The The Tale of Genji , layered with Buddhist insight. Their common themes are beauty, love, longing, and liberation grounded in idealization. The essay is structured as a dialectical exchange between theory and praxis , by applying Diotima’s theory of eros and beauty to the main characters in Murasaki’s novel. We then analyze why the title character, Genji, like Alcibiades in the Symposium , fails to realize the erotic mission outlined by Diotima. Finally author Murasaki’s alternative Buddhist theory of love is extrapolated from the lives and thoughts of her central female characters.

Journal

Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

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