Philosophy and Metaphor: The Significance of Christine’s ‘Blunders’

Philosophy and Metaphor: The Significance of Christine’s ‘Blunders’

By Green, Karen

Parergon Vol. 22:1 (2005)


Three cases where Christine de Pizan seems to have transformed her sources are discussed. The first involves a fusion of the Tiburtine and Cumean sibyls, the second Christine’s treatment of the poetic muses, and the third the image of felicit√© humaine introduced at the beginning of Le Livre du corps de policie. It is argued that where Christine transforms her sources she is making a distinct philosophical point. In the third of these transformations she shows a subtle appreciation of the sexism of a traditional philosophical metaphor, which she cleverly undermines and subverts.

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