Plato through Homer: Poetry and Philosophy in the by Zdravko Planinc

By Zdravko Planinc


This new examine demanding situations conventional methods of analyzing Plato by way of exhibiting that his philosophy and political conception can't be understood except a attention of the literary or aesthetic beneficial properties of his writing. extra particularly, it exhibits how Plato’s famous cosmological dialogues—the Phaedrus, Timaeus, and Critias—are dependent utilizing numerous books of the Odyssey as their shared resource text.
While there has lately been a lot scholarly dialogue of the relation among poetry and philosophy in Plato’s dialogues, little of it addresses questions important to thoroughgoing literary feedback. Planinc’s paintings is exclusive in that it indicates the importance of Plato’s huge refiguring of key episodes within the Odyssey for an interpretation of his political philosophy.
Plato’s cosmological dialogues are regularly mentioned topically. The Timaeus is picked via for its theological or medical doctrines; the Critias is decreased to its Atlantis tale, or questioned over as a result of its ostensible incompleteness; and the Phaedrus is learn for its parallels to fashionable understandings of erotics or rhetoric. The dialogues aren't often thought of with regards to each other, after which simply within the context of developmental schemes essentially interested in distinguishing sessions in Plato’s metaphysical doctrines.
Planinc argues that the most literary good points of the Phaedrus, Timaeus, and Critias are taken from books 6 to nine of the Odyssey, the most important a part of the tale of Odysseus’s stick with the Phaeacians, from the time he swims to shore and encounters Nausicaa to the time he unearths his id and starts recounting his past travels after listening to Demodocus’s songs. by means of exploring the entire diversity of the numerous captivating and interesting issues the dialogues found in this literary context, he indicates that they're a coherent, unified a part of Plato’s corpus.
Plato via Homer takes a considerably new method of Plato’s texts that illuminates their literary and philosophic value and highlights their enduring appeal.

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3238). Critias even attempts to implicate Socrates in the corruption of his regime by ordering him to participate in the arrest and execution of one of the opponents of the Thirty. Socrates walks away. According to Plato's report in the Apology, Socrates would have been executed for his actions if the regime had not been overthrown before it could arrest him (32c-e). Perhaps some other of Socrates' failed efforts to teach him something gave him offense. In the Timaeus and Critias, Socrates does not attempt to instruct Critias.

Homer composed the scenes in which Odysseus listens to Demodocus's three songs as integral parts of a poetic whole. Though they seem unrelated at first, the songs of the Trojan War and the song of Ares and Aphrodite have a unifying theme-the relation of love, war, and deceit-and a single purpose: to cause Odysseus to wonder and reflect on his life. The maqner in which Plato refigures the songs in his presentation of the relation between Timaeus's cosmology and Critias's sophistry shows that he understands this feature of Homer" text.

He intends the reader to recall both the Republic and the Symposium. Lysias, one of Cephalus's sons, was present during the discussions reported in the Republic. His silence throughout shows him to be either unable to understand Socrates or unwilling to participate in a conversation in which his convictions might come under reflective scrutiny. Phaedrus, in contrast, spoke quite revealingly during the festivities recounted in the Symposium. His eulogy claimed that Eros is most beautiful in the tyrannical power of a nonloving pederastic beloved.

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