The Evolving Role of Poetry and the Poet Essay

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"The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato," claimed Alfred North Whitehead in 1929's Process and Reality. Plato studied under Socrates in Athens, Greece, and showed a deep interest for politics. It wasn't until Socrates death that Plato turned from politics to philosophy. He developed Idealism in opposition to the belief of the Sophists and opened a school in Athens. The Academy was one of the first organized schools in Western Civilization it was here that Plato taught his most famous student, Aristotle. Plato's most famous work is The Republic. In it Plato describes a perfect, or ideal, state. The beginning of the work investigates the true meaning…show more content…
Aristotle's best known work is Poetics. It is believed to be a private paper that conceivably rotated around The Lyceum. In other words, it was never written to be published. That's why the text mentions things that will be discussed later but never are. The text outlines Aristotle's characteristics for a tragedy as well as responding to Plato's The Republic Book X.

Plato's theory in The Republic says that everything in the world comes from Eidos, or, the Ideal. The Ideal is the one perfect model; everything else is simply an imperfect copy of something else. In "Book X" Socrates states, "There are three arts which are concerned with all things: one which uses, another which makes, a third which imitates..." (25). The metaphysical path leaves only one truth, one Ideal; so each other component is moving farther and farther away from the truth. Plato's example in a simpler form would claim that a carpenter can create a bed, but he did not create the idea of a bed. To take that object as far away from truth as Plato places poetry, you would have to consider a painter depicting the bed as art. As Socrates begins to draw his conversation to an end in "Book X" of The Republic he makes an important conclusion, "At all events we are well aware that poetry, such as we have described, is not to be regarded seriously as attaining to the truth;" (29).

Taking into consideration the fact that the artist is so far from the truth, it can be inferred that the poet
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