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Image-Making In Republic X And The Sophist: Plato's Criticism Of The Poet And The Sophist

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the concept of 'poiêsis' in its historical context. It shows that the general term of 'making' was relatively new in the time of Plato, which had just come to be used for the specific activity of poetry. The chapter examines the relation between the sophist and the poet whose activities and contents of teaching overlap. It explores the obvious correspondences between the criticism of the poet in Republic X and the definition of the sophist in the Sophist. The examination reveals that Plato treats them as complementary, or presents the latter as the ontological basis of the former. The concept of 'making' is treated and saved against the sophistic counter-attack based on Parmenides' position in the Sophist. Finally, different treatments of 'image-making' in the two dialogues are examined.

Keywords: image-making; Plato's criticism; Republic X; Sophist



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