SOCRATES ON POETRY AND THE WISDOM OF SIMONIDES

Akroterion

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Field Value
 
Title SOCRATES ON POETRY AND THE WISDOM OF SIMONIDES
 
Creator Futter, D
 
Subject
Plato; Socrates; Republic; Simonides; Socratic method; poetry
 
Description In books 2 and 3 of the Republic, Socrates criticizes Homer andHesiod for telling the greatest falsehoods about the greatest things; in book 1, he assumes that Simonides is a ‘wise and blessed’ bard who knows the truth. Socrates’ position on the authority of poets seems contradictory. Can this tension be resolved? I argue that it can be.  Building on but revising Nicholas Pappas’ suggestion that Socrates’ charity in interpreting poetry is a form of disrespect, I show that the contradiction in his position is not in principle but in use. Socrates assumes that a true poet must be a knower of the good; however, in book 1, he uses this assumption to absolve Simonides from error, whereas in books 2 and 3, he infers that Homer, Hesiod, and other lesser figures are not true poets. This difference in use is to be explained by changes in interlocutors and a material concern with early childhood education.
 
Publisher Stellenbosch University, Department of Ancient Studies
 
Contributor
 
Date 2021-03-11
 
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion
Peer-reviewed Article

 
Format application/pdf
 
Identifier http://akroterion.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1023
10.7445/65-0-1023
 
Source Akroterion; Vol 65 (2020)
2079-2883
0303-1896
 
Language eng
 
Relation http://akroterion.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1023/1045
 
Coverage


 
Rights Copyright (c) 2021 Akroterion
 

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