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Poetry, Thumos, And Pity In The Republic

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explains that contrary to first appearance, the thumoeidetic part of one's soul does actually play an important, albeit implicit, role in the second critique of poetry in Book X, and that from the psychological perspective there is no real discrepancy between these two critiques. Before getting on to the role the thumoeidetic part of the soul may have in Book X, the chapter focuses briefly on some relevant features of the first critique of poetry, in Books II and III. The chapter suggests the link between courage in the face of death and misfortune, and the thumoeides as an ally of reason in its fight against the appetites: it is only when becoming courageous in the sense just described that the thumoeides can experience the right shame which prevents the person from indulging his appetites, and the self-esteem needed for that, too.

Keywords: Plato's Republic; poetry; psychological perspective; thumoeides



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