The Quarrel Between Philosophy and Poetry

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Though Plato’s case when it comes to the Sophists and his distaste for their use of rhetoric is valid, often times he doesn’t make sense of whether poetry, rather than the poet, is what he would consider as “good”. In essence, poetry is the vehicle for poets to take the basics of life which have inspired them, for instance nature, and projecting it onto their readers by bringing it to a heightened state, in this case, nature being presented as a form of unnatural cosmic energy. In Ion, Socrates states, “All good poets, epic as well as lyric, compose their beautiful poems not by skill, but through inspiration and possession” (Ion 7). Though here it can be assumed that “possession” would have a negative connotation to it, and Socrates does reaffirm this, it can subsequently, instead, be substituted as “passion”. Possession entails the poet composes their poems by losing all senses, yet poetry is a combination of senses, for the poet, in short, experiences the basics of life differently than someone who is not a poet. A passionate poet, instead of a possessed poet, doesn’t lose his or her senses but rather uses them to create poetry. Conversely, passion, or even being in the state of what Plato would consider to be irrational, is what consequently makes humankind fully human. The ontology of humans come from many different avenues of influence, but their state of being comes from the quest of insight. The act of coming to truth must be done from the basis of a humans own life. Though philosophy itself is a basis of truth, philosophy functions in poetry, for instance the poets philosophy on a topic, which inherently makes poetry able to be a means of truth as well. An example of this is seen in the Plato’s [book] Phaedrus when in Diot...

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...ose its purpose by being put through a filter, though. Poetry actually gains more purpose due to being more widely understood.
Consequently, though Plato makes a good argument pertaining to poetry, the role of the poet, and the role of the individual who choose to recite poetry, Plato forgets to include how poetry fits into our ultimately sense of humanity. From Plato’s theory of human nature, to have a lite full of content, an individual must have a harmonious balance within themselves. The poet, the individual reciting poetry, and the individual who is affected by poetry all go through a sort of irrationality for to be immersed in poetry is to be immersed in powerful feelings. Yet, though this immersion may hinder the ability to function rationally, truth must be found in both states for ultimate truth comes from what we do understand and what we don’t understand.
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