Plutarch’s Platonic Question IX: The Trichonomy of the Soul from the Perspective of Music Theory (Politeia 443d-e)
Keywords:Plutarch, Music theory, Soul, Trichonomy, Plato, Politeia, Platonicae Quaestiones, Harmony, Psyche
In the IXth question of his Platonicae Quaestiones, Plutarch takes up the musical analogy of Politeia 443d-e, which applies the trichonomy of the soul to the concept of harmony by means of the three horoi. The concrete question of whether Plato assigned the place of mese to spirit or to reason is left open by Plutarch according to his zétema concept, but offers meaningful opportunities for the understanding of Platonic soul trichonomy: both the peculiarity of the horoi and the ambiguity of harmonia must be diligently assessed from a musictheoretical perspective in order to comprehensively understand the analogy of soul trichonomy.
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