By Malcolm Heath
What's poetry? Why do humans produce and eat it? What results does it have on them? Can it supply them perception into fact, or is it dangerously deceptive? This publication is a wide-ranging research of the very various solutions which historic philosophers gave to such questions. a longer dialogue of Plato's Republic indicates how the 2 discussions of poetry are built-in with one another and with the dialogue's relevant issues. Aristotle's Poetics is learn within the context of his figuring out of poetry as a traditional human behaviour and an intrinsically worthwhile part of an outstanding human existence. chapters hint the improvement of the later Platonist culture from Plutarch to Plotinus, Longinus and Porphyry, exploring its highbrow money owed to Epicurean, allegorical and Stoic techniques to poetry. it will likely be crucial interpreting for classicists in addition to historical philosophers and sleek philosophers of paintings and aesthetics.
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Extra info for Ancient Philosophical Poetics (Key Themes in Ancient Philosophy)
Socrates rounds off this section as follows: ‘As regards the gods, then, these are the kinds of stories which it seems they should and should not hear, right from childhood, if they are going to honour the gods and their parents, and not make light of their friendship with each other’ (3, 386a). Adeimantus agrees; and Socrates goes on: ‘What if they are to be brave? ’ (386a). He proceeds to 9 In the Laws, poets must show that just people are happy and unjust people are miserable, irrespective of external goods (2, 660d–661d, 662b–c).
Imitative poetry imitates people doing things (603c): they perform actions either under compulsion or voluntarily; they think that as a result of their action they are faring well or badly; and consequently they are either distressed or pleased. Socrates goes on to argue that these people have a conflict in their soul, just as the victims of visual illusions are subject to a conflict between a thing’s appearance to the non-rational parts of the soul and their rational judgement about what it really is (603c–d).
The good man will therefore use both simple narrative and narrative through imitation, like Homer (396e), but his use of imitation will be more limited than Homer’s, both in its extent and in the range of different characters imitated. The second kind of narrative is the bad man’s (397a–b), which is indiscriminate in the range of different characters imitated, and therefore makes much more extensive use of imitation; simple narrative will be very restricted. Socrates has given two different ways of classifying narrative, and it is important not to confuse them.
Ancient Philosophical Poetics (Key Themes in Ancient Philosophy) by Malcolm Heath