Plato and the Poets


Plato’s discussions of poetry and the poets stand at the cradle of Western literary criticism. Plato is, paradoxically, both the philosopher who cites, or alludes to, works of poetry more than any other, and the one who is at the same time the harshest critic of poetry. The nineteen essays presented here aim to offer various avenues to this paradox, and to illuminate the ways poetry and the poets are discussed by Plato throughout his writing career, from the Apology and the Ion to the Laws. As well as throwing new light on old topics, such as mimesis and poetic inspiration, the volume introduces fresh approaches to Plato’s philosophy of poetry and literature.

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Pierre Destrée, PhD (1994) in Philosophy, University of Louvain, is Research Associate at the Fonds belge de la Recherche Scientifique, and Associate Professor at the University of Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve). His publications include articles in Greek ethics, and aesthetics. He has co-edited (with Ch. Bobonich) Akrasia in Greek Philosophy (Brill 2007) and (with Carole Talon-Hugon), Art et morale. Approches Historiques (Editions Obaldia) 2011.

Fritz-Gregor Herrmann PhD (1999) in Classics, University of Edinburgh, is Reader in Ancient Philosophy and Literature at Swansea University. His publications include Words and Ideas. The roots of Plato’s Philosophy (Classical Press of Wales 2007). He has edited New Essays on Plato. Language and thought in Fourth-Century Greek Philosophy (Classical Press of Wales 2006) and co-edited (with Douglas Cairns and Terry Penner) Pursuing the Good. Ethics and metaphysics in Plato’s Republic (Edinburgh University Press 2007).

Contributors: Elizabeth Belfiore, Stefan Büttner, Carlotta Capuccino, Catherine Collobert, Francisco J, Gonzalez, Stephen Halliwell, Antony Hatzistavrou, Gabriel Richardson Lear, Jera Marušič, Glenn W. Most, Penelope Murray, Noburu Notomi, Elisabeth Pender, Suzanne Sauvé Meyer, Gretchen Reydams-Schils, Dominic Scott, Rachel Singpurwalla.
"On the whole, the collection succeeds remarkably well in offering fresh perspectives on a number of themes relating to Plato's attitude towards poetry and the poets while avoiding excessive scholarly wrangling or overly technical discussions of individual passages." Eleni Kaklamanou in BMCR, 16-4-2012
Chapter 1. What Ancient Quarrel Between Philosophy and Poetry?
Glenn W. Most
Chapter 2. Poetry and Rhetoric in Plato's Gorgias
Fritz-Gregor Herrmann
Chapter 3. Poetry as Flawed Reproduction: Possession and Mimesis
Catherine Collobert
Chapter 4. Plato’s Ion and the Ethics of Praise
Carlotta Capuccino
Chapter 5. The Hermeneutics of Madness: Poet and Philosopher in Plato's Ion, and Phaedrus
Francisco J. Gonzalez
Chapter 6. Inspiration and Inspired Poets in Plato’s Dialogues
Stefan Büttner
Chapter 7. Plato, Poetry and Creativity
Dominic Scott
Chapter 8. Poets at the Symposium
Elisabeth Belfiore
Chapter 9. Tragedy, Women and the Family in Plato's Republic
Penelope Murray
Chapter 10. Mimesis and Psychological Change in Republic III
Gabriel Richardson Lear
Chapter 11. Poets and Mimesis in the Republic
Jera Marušič
Chapter 12. Antidotes and Incantations: is there a Cure for Poetry in Plato’s Republic?
Stephen Halliwell
Chapter 13. Tragedy, Pity and Thumos in the Republic
Pierre Destrée
Chapter 14. Soul Division and Mimesis in Republic X
Rachel Singpurwalla
Chapter 15. Image-making in Republic X and the Sophist
Noburu Notomi
Chapter 16. A transfer of Energy: Lyric Eros in Phaedrus
Elisabeth Pender
Chapter 17. Myth and Poetry in the Timaeus
Gretchen Reydams-Schils
Chapter 18. Correctness’ and Poetic Knowledge: Choric Poetry in the Laws
Antony Hatzistavrou
Chapter 19. Legislation as a Tragedy: on Plato's Laws VII, 817b-d
Suzanne Sauvé-Meyer

All those interested in intellectual history, esp. in Plato, and in the history of aesthetics
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