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Author Havelock, Eric A. (Eric Alfred), 1903-1988.

Title Preface to Plato.

Published Cambridge, Belknap Press, Harvard University Press, 1963.


Location Call No. Status
Physical description 1 online resource (xiv, 328 pages)
Series A History of the Greek mind, v. 1
History of the Greek mind ; v. 1.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 312-315).
Contents FOREWORD -- Contents -- Part One: The Image-Thinkers -- I. Plato on Poetry -- II. Mimesis -- III. Poetry as Preserved Communication -- IV. The Homeric Encyclopedia -- V. Epic as Record versus Epic as Narrative -- VI. Hesiod on Poetry -- VII. The Oral Sources of the Hellenic Intelligence -- VIII. The Homeric State of Mind -- IX. The Psychology of the Poetic Performance -- X. The Content and Quality of the Poetised Statement -- Part Two: The Necessity of Platonism -- XI. Psyche or the Separation of the Knower from the Known
XII. The Recognition of the Known as ObjectXIII. Poetry as Opinion -- XIV. The Origin of the Theory of Forms -- XV. �The Supreme Music is Philosophy�
Summary 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.
Subject Plato.
Philosophy, Ancient.
Greek poetry -- History and criticism.
Criticism, interpretation, etc.
ISBN 9780674038431 (electronic bk.)
0674038436 (electronic bk.)

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