The Virtue of Erotic Curiosity

Philosophy and Literature 46 (1):208-222 (2022)
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Abstract

Apuleius’s The Golden Ass presents curiosity as the protagonist’s downfall, yet ultimately recodes curiosity as the single virtue through which the human soul achieves not only immortality but joy. I identify Apuleius’s treatment of curiosity as falling into the categories of erotic and nonerotic. The union of Eros and the curious human soul suggests that one who is erotically curious can take pleasure in her devotion to one, precisely because she has eyes for the beauty of many.

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Rachel Aumiller
Columbia University

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