[Milton-L] Eve's curls (reply to William Moeck)

Harold Skulsky hskulsky at smith.edu
Mon Sep 7 12:28:55 EDT 2009


Many thanks to Louis for his remarks on what I now see is a possibility:
that on M's showing Eve makes her separate gardening proposal with the
intention of "seeking" temptation — in a version of that intention
that leaves Eve blameless and even does her credit. 

The scare quotes around "seek" above are Louis's, and (at least for me)
they illuminate the complexity of what is at stake in this notoriously
challenging passage. The pregnant ambiguity and even paradoxicality of
"seeking" (i.e., "trying to find") is well known in the intellectual
tradition M inherits (see the *Meno*and the literature it generates). 

The ambiguity is intensified where what one is trying to find is not a
person, place or thing,  but an event or experience (in the current
case, "temptation"; or, in the *Meno*, "knowledge"). What is it to
"find" temptation? For that matter, what is it to TRY to "find"
temptation? What is it, above all,  for Eve, as M presents her to us
here and elsewhere in PL, to do these things? 

I am not free to pursue these questions at the moment. But I look
forward to Louis's argument. And it now seems to me that I was overhasty
in my original posting.


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