Abstract

Abstract:

Plato lends expression to an Axial Age understanding of transcendence: a philosopher, if virtuous, can be released from bodily and temporal existence. Virginia Woolf lends expression to a Romantic or Modernist understanding of transcendence: an artist, if gifted, can be released from the cramped condition of ordinary existence. In this essay, borrowing a concept from Charles Taylor, I argue that Plato and Woolf show us what an immanent transcendence involves: the reach of a soul transformed by an ideal or a vision it lives by. In Plato, in Woolf, what is at stake is poise, openness of mind, largeness of perspective.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 312-335
Launched on MUSE
2019-10-29
Open Access
No
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