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Inspiration and Inspired Poets in Plato's Dialogues

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, a fresh attempt will be made at an adequate understanding of Plato's concept of inspiration. First, It argues that the term 'inspiration' when discussed by Plato is not exclusively an expression of ironic criticism, either generally or specifically in reference to poets. Secondly, the chapter attempts to clarify which powers of the soul are primarily involved in inspiration. Finally, on the basis of the Pseudo-Aristotelian Problemata physica, it will be confirmed that the inspiration of the poets is not essentially distinct from that of prophets, politicians or other inspired persons. Inspiration in Plato's dialogues is therefore to be taken seriously, even with respect to the poets - of whom in a certain fashion Plato regarded himself as the leader!.

Keywords: Aristotle; inspired poets; Plato



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