Les peintres d’Empédocle (DK 31 B23): enjeux et portée d’une analogie préplatonicienne

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Les peintres d’Empédocle (DK 31 B23): enjeux et portée d’une analogie préplatonicienne

Type: Article / Letter to editor
Title: Les peintres d’Empédocle (DK 31 B23): enjeux et portée d’une analogie préplatonicienne
Author: Iribarren, Baralt L.
Issue: 13
Volume: 13
Start Page: 81
End Page: 113
Pages: 33
Issue Date: 2015-12-03
Keywords: Empedocles
Analogy
Aesthetic theory
Cosmogony
Abstract: This paper focuses on Empedocles’ fragment B23, in which the author analogically relates the generation of living species from four elements to the art of painting, whose productions result from the mixing of a limited number of pigments. The first part of the article deals with the heuristic dimension of the analogy in the context of a cosmological poem, more specifically with the correspondence between comparans and comparandum . Within this relationship, a grammatical and theoretical problem concentrates my attention: while the subject and the verbs of the fragment are plurals, the painter’s procedures are conveyed in the dual form. These duals have frequently been interpreted as allusions to the two cosmic principles of Empedocles’ doctrine, Love and Strife. Building on Oliver Primavesi’s recent interpretation of the cosmic cycle, according to which Love is the only principle responsible for the production of living species, even during the period of Strife’s domination, I propose to interpret the duals as an allusion to Cypris’ hands, a personification of Love’s demiurgical powers. As a result, the reading I suggest is compatible with the two main interpretations of Empedocles’ zoogony (single/double). In the second part of the paper, I examine the relation that the painters analogy entertains with two contemporary discursive forms that also happen to thematize the question of representation: the lyric tradition, namely Simonides and Pindar, on the one hand, and the philosophical poem of Parmenides, on the other.
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/36573
 

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