The quarrel between philosophy and poetry

In criticizing Dilthey's more secularist effort to develop a poetology without reference to the divine, thus overcoming metaphysics in favor of sociohistorical human studies, Barfield offers the following small argumentative allegory.

plato on poetry

In their view poetry manifested the noblest human ideals in a symbolically rich and aesthetically appealing way By the same token, according to the German thinker Martin Heidegger, philosophy is essentially Platonism What this implies is that the Greeks believed that literature embodied and expressed the cultural, educational, and spiritual ideals of their nation and civilization v.

New York: Scribner. Plato also realized how difficult it is to convince others to adopt a radically different way of life, especially in a democratic society.

ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry

How might he go about convincing a bunch of extremely proud, freedom-loving individuals like the Athenians that the values and education that they held so dearly were actually keeping them from building a truly just polis?

Perhaps one should not demand proofs of the existence of God in order to answer this question.

And perhaps, failing them, one should also not take it for granted, with Feuerbach, that talk of God is a mere displacement of natural human desires that are best satisfied otherwise than in religious life. Foreword by Pierre Vidal-Naquet. But, how does Plato go about facilitating this mysterious process in his writings? Mondolfo, Rodolfo. Poets are then, at least initially, the ones most in touch with and able to give expression to this human search and to the situation of consciousness. Diogenes Laertius reports that Plato composed dithyrambs, lyrics, and tragedies in his youth, but that he burned them when he met Socrates Tarrant I will now discuss two ways of answering these questions, a historical-literary explanation provided by Harvey Yunis, and a theoretical-philosophical answer offered by Stanley Rosen. This is the crux: philosophy returns again and again to poetry because philosophy needs the gods Even more importantly, in Book 2 Socrates claims that traditional mimetic poetry is detrimental to the polis and the soul because it teaches that the gods are not always good and just.

By banishing poetry from the polis that is ruled according to philosophical principles, Plato was trying to prevent a free circulation of words and discourses that may divert bodies from their social and intellectual destination.

The Protreptic Rhetoric of the Republic. Any political aspects entailed in the Quarrel.

Humanity measures itself against the godhead and thereby becomes more fully human, and thus capable of knowing itself as philosophy spurs it on.

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What Ancient Quarrel Between Philosophy And Poetry? in: Plato and the Poets