Catalogue


Preface to Plato [electronic resource] /
Eric A. Havelock.
imprint
Cambridge, MA : The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1963.
description
xiv, 328 p.
ISBN
9780674699069
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Cambridge, MA : The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1963.
isbn
9780674699069
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
11953026
 
Includes bibliography and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
This book makes a major contribution...will offer thereader many hours of stimulating thought and a powerfulchallenge to reexamine some basic assumptions about theearly Greek mind.
A book bursting with new ideas, all of them exciting. Itmay well turn out to be a landmark in the study of Greekthought and literature.
The frontiers of several fields of research meet in this rich and germinal study. Professor Havelock is concerned with Greek epic poetry and Plato's attack on it, with the whole of the Greek paideia as it existed before and after Plato, with the technological problems of communication, and, finally, with the emergence of Plato's doctrine of "forms," in its total cultural setting...In brief, Havelock's point is that Plato's attack on poetry is integral to his philosophy as such if we see poetry as what it really was in his day...Havelock's thesis is a sweeping one, and, on the whole, utterly convincing, tying in with the findings of an increasing number of recent psychological, historical, philosophical, and cultural studies.
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Summaries
Main 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.
Main 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.
Table of Contents
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'
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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