Preface to Plato

ISBN-10: 0674699068

ISBN-13: 9780674699069

Edition: 1963

Authors: Eric A. Havelock, Lyndall Havelock

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Description:

Plato's frontal attack on poetry has always been a problem for sympathetic students, who have often minimized or avoided it. Beginning with the premise that the attack must be taken seriously, Mr. Havelock shows that Plato's hostility is explained by the continued domination of the poetic tradition in contemporary Greek thought. The reason for the dominance of this tradition was technological. In a nonliterate culture, stored experience necessary to cultural stability had to be preserved as poetry in order to be memorized. Plato attacks poets, particularly Homer, as the sole source of Greek moral and technical instruction--Mr. Havelock shows how the Illiad acted as an oral encyclopedia. Under the label of mimesis, Plato condemns the poetic process of emotional identification and the necessity of presenting content as a series of specific images in a continued narrative. The second part of the book discusses the Platonic Forms as an aspect of an increasingly rational culture. Literate Greece demanded, instead of poetic discourse, a vocabulary and a sentence structure both abstract and explicit in which experience could be described normatively and analytically: in short a language of ethics and science.
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Book details

List price: $27.50
Copyright year: 1963
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 4/15/1982
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 344
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

The Image-Thinkers
Plato On Poetry
Mimesis
Poetry As Preserved Communication
The Homeric Encyclopedia
Eric As Recorded As Record Versus Epic As Narrative
Hesiod on Poetry
The Oral Sources of The Hellenic Intelligence
The Homeric State of Mind
The Psychology of The Poetic Performance
The Content and Quality of The Poetised Statement
The Necessity of Platonism
Psyche or The Separation of The Knower From The Know
The Recognition of The Known As Object
Poetry As Opinion
The Origin of The Theory of Forms
'The Supreme Music is Philosophy'
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