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Soul Division And Mimesis In Republic X

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Chapter Summary

In Republic X, Socrates uses the phenomenon of cognitive conflict about matters of fact to show that the soul has only two parts, the rational and the irrational. This chapter explains how these divergent accounts of the soul and its parts are legitimate alternative characterizations. A consequence of the author's argument is that one should not think of the divided soul as primarily a division of desires, but rather as a division of cognitive attitudes towards the world, each of which yields different sorts of desires. The chapter presents Socrates' two accounts of the soul, and discusses a puzzle or problem for harmonizing the two accounts. It also considers and rejects one possible solution to the puzzle. Further, the chapter provides the author's own alternative solution to the puzzle, and outlines how the author's solution suggests a new conception of the ultimate nature of the parts of the soul.

Keywords: Republic X; Socrates; soul division



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