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Article: Nature, cause, and agency in Greek magic

TitleNature, cause, and agency in Greek magic
Authors
Issue Date2003
Citation
Transactions of the American Philological Association, 2003, v. 133, n. 1, p. 17-49 How to Cite?
AbstractThis paper explores the concepts of nature, cause, and agency as they define Greek magical practice in the Classical period. I seek first to demonstrate that the authors of the Hippocratic and Platonic attacks on magic share basic assumptions about nature and divinity with the magical practitioners themselves. Next, I situate magic within the mechanical, teleological, and volitional modes of Greek causal explanation, demonstrating how these modes can overlap in the explanation of a magical event. Finally, I consider figurines as a test case for concepts of causality in magical action. I argue that figurines, like Greek statues generally, are viewed as social agents capable of causing events to happen in their vicinity. Once we situate the figurines within a network of social relations, new explanations can be derived for the practice of binding and abusing them.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/213039
ISSN
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.191

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorCollins, Derek-
dc.date.accessioned2015-07-28T04:05:52Z-
dc.date.available2015-07-28T04:05:52Z-
dc.date.issued2003-
dc.identifier.citationTransactions of the American Philological Association, 2003, v. 133, n. 1, p. 17-49-
dc.identifier.issn0360-5949-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/213039-
dc.description.abstractThis paper explores the concepts of nature, cause, and agency as they define Greek magical practice in the Classical period. I seek first to demonstrate that the authors of the Hippocratic and Platonic attacks on magic share basic assumptions about nature and divinity with the magical practitioners themselves. Next, I situate magic within the mechanical, teleological, and volitional modes of Greek causal explanation, demonstrating how these modes can overlap in the explanation of a magical event. Finally, I consider figurines as a test case for concepts of causality in magical action. I argue that figurines, like Greek statues generally, are viewed as social agents capable of causing events to happen in their vicinity. Once we situate the figurines within a network of social relations, new explanations can be derived for the practice of binding and abusing them.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofTransactions of the American Philological Association-
dc.titleNature, cause, and agency in Greek magic-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.description.natureLink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-60950643701-
dc.identifier.volume133-
dc.identifier.issue1-
dc.identifier.spage17-
dc.identifier.epage49-
dc.identifier.eissn1533-0699-

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