The Body and the Arts by C Saunders, U Maude, J Macnaughton (eds.)

By C Saunders, U Maude, J Macnaughton (eds.)

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This ought to be striking, for it is not something that is determined by cultural convention, by external controls on appropriate ways of speaking about the body. Smell, taste and touch were very much part of the exploration of the body in science as well as literature during the period when Plato was applying his immense literary skill to the scientific exploration of the human condition. 23 The question, then, is what Plato has against these senses – or why, rather, he privileges sight to the extent that he does.

From all of this we get philosophy – and there is not and never can be any greater gift that the gods could give to mortals. This, I say, is the tremendous benefit we derive from the eyes. At first glance it might look as if the point of this passage is to say that sight allows us to transcend our roots, and escape to the heavens. But that isn’t quite Plato’s point. Rather, Plato’s point is that our ability to see and understand the order of the heavens enables us to start seeing the order and beauty they communicate to the whole cosmos, even down on earth, where it is least readily apparent.

A. Roggman, ‘Attractive Faces are Only Average’, Psychological Science, vol. 1 (1990), pp. 115–121. 13. For the authorship of the Physiognomics, and the relationship of its authors with Aristotle himself, see my ‘Physiognomy in Ancient Philosophy’ at pp. 55–58 and 64–75. 14. See Physiognomics, 808 a26, 809 b24, 810 a6, 811 b33, 813 b23, 27, 813 b35, 814 a2, 3. Cf. 810 b15–20, which discusses the size of the belly relative to the chest. 15. 56 with A. F. Stewart, ‘Lyisippan Studies 1. The Only Creator of Beauty’, American Journal of Archaeology, vol.

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