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PLATO’S REJECTION OF POETRY: A DEFENSE OF FALSEHOODS AND IMITATIONS IN THE REPUBLIC

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Date Issued:
2020
Abstract/Description:
In various Platonic dialogues, Socrates appears to discredit myth and fiction. Most notably in the Republic, he seems to argue that poetry is harmful due to its false nature and its relation to imitation which misleads those who experience it about the nature of the good. Yet, in many of these same dialogues, Socrates makes multiple appeals to myths, either using the previously constructed myths of others, or constructing stories of his own. Given that the dialogues themselves are fictionalized conversations written by Plato, a student of Socrates, he himself cannot categorically reject fictional stories. I argue that Plato’s critical examination and restriction of myth and poetry is not an absolute rejection. Rather, Plato is rejecting that poetry which ignorantly depicts falsehoods. This ignorance cultivates mistaken beliefs of what is most important; the good, right, and virtuous, and ultimately causes disharmony and harm in the souls of its audience.
Title: PLATO’S REJECTION OF POETRY: A DEFENSE OF FALSEHOODS AND IMITATIONS IN THE REPUBLIC.
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Name(s): Garcia-Diaz, Jeremy O.N., author
Baima, Nicholas, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University
Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Thesis
Date Created: 2020
Date Issued: 2020
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: online resource
Extent: 48 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: In various Platonic dialogues, Socrates appears to discredit myth and fiction. Most notably in the Republic, he seems to argue that poetry is harmful due to its false nature and its relation to imitation which misleads those who experience it about the nature of the good. Yet, in many of these same dialogues, Socrates makes multiple appeals to myths, either using the previously constructed myths of others, or constructing stories of his own. Given that the dialogues themselves are fictionalized conversations written by Plato, a student of Socrates, he himself cannot categorically reject fictional stories. I argue that Plato’s critical examination and restriction of myth and poetry is not an absolute rejection. Rather, Plato is rejecting that poetry which ignorantly depicts falsehoods. This ignorance cultivates mistaken beliefs of what is most important; the good, right, and virtuous, and ultimately causes disharmony and harm in the souls of its audience.
Identifier: FA00003708 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (B.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, 2020.
Collection: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00003708
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU

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