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Aristotle on the Matter of FormA Feminist Metaphysics of Generation$
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Adriel M. Trott

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474455220

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474455220.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 17 April 2021

The Feminine and the Elemental in Greek Myth, Medicine and Early Philosophy

The Feminine and the Elemental in Greek Myth, Medicine and Early Philosophy

(p.120) 4 The Feminine and the Elemental in Greek Myth, Medicine and Early Philosophy
Aristotle on the Matter of Form

Adriel M. Trott

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter offers historical background and context of ancient Greek conceptions of the female, the feminine, and matter, including the elemental in Greek myth, medical texts and the Pre-Socratic philosophers. The chapter examines the role of female divinities in reproduction and the gods said to be born of Zeus and thus without a female goddess or mortal woman in Greek myth to show the anxiety in Greek myth over female fecundity coupled with the recognition that reproduction without women was impossible. Depictions of Pandora as the beginning of a separate race of women point to Greek understandings of woman as a belly in both productive and consumptive ways. The chapter further considers how Pre-Socratics thematize the elemental to think about the association of moisture with the female in medical treatises and Aristotle. The last part examines the Hippocratics views of elemental forces in the body and their effect on women for whom their excess can become a problem as well as the focus on the belly as the source of power in the body.

Keywords:   Hippocratics, belly, myth, elemental, feminine, female, matter, Pre-Socratic

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