Beginning with the premise that the attack must be taken seriously, Eric Havelock shows that Plato’s hostility is explained by the continued domination of the. PREFACE TO PLATO science and to morality: the major Greek poets from. Homer to Euripides must be excluded from the educational system of Greece. Preface to Plato has ratings and 7 reviews. Tim said: For those billions of you loosing sleep each night trying to figure out why Plato was so hostil.
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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preface to Plato by Eric Alfred Havelock. Plato’s frontal attack on poetry has always been a problem for sympathetic students, who have often minimized or avoided it.
Beginning with the premise that the attack must be taken seriously, Eric Havelock shows that Plato’s hostility is explained by the continued domination of the poetic tradition in contemporary Greek thought. The reason for the dominance of this traditi Plato’s frontal attack on poetry has always been a problem for sympathetic platoo, who have often minimized or avoided it. The reason for the dominance of this tradition was technological.
Haveoock a nonliterate culture, stored experience necessary to cultural stability had to be preserved as poetry in order to be memorized. Plato attacks poets, particularly Homer, as the sole source of Greek moral and technical instruction–Mr. Havelock shows how the Iliad acted as an oral encyclopedia.
Under the label of mimesis, Plato condemns the poetic process of emotional identification and the necessity of presenting content as a series of specific images in a continued narrative.
The second part of lreface book discusses the Platonic Forms as an aspect of an increasingly rational culture. Literate Greece demanded, instead of poetic discourse, a vocabulary and a sentence structure both abstract and explicit in which experience could be described normatively and analytically: Paperbackpages.
Published April 15th by Belknap Press: An Imprint of Harvard University Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Preface to Platoplease sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. May 17, Tim rated it it was amazing. For those billions of you loosing sleep each night trying to figure out why Plato was so hostile to poetry in the Republic, this book will give you sweet dreamless sleep, whiter teeth, and shrink your waistline while you feast on chocolate and pork rinds. And it might even be half true! Oct 13, Hugolane rated it really liked it.
Compelling argument focused on the transition from a society dominated by the oral transmission of knowledge to one where the written word is the principle vehicle of knowledge.
Got me to think in new ways about Homer and Hesiod, as well as about Plato and the world Plato imagined was possible. I would like to know a bit more why Classists were less than enthusiastic about it.
May 24, Arman Raina rated it it was amazing Shelves: Expecting an insightful, albeit idealistic political solution, I was sorely confused. Interspersed between polemics against Poetry and Homer, I found traces of a simplistic, totalitarian regime.
Even the running of this regime was not elaborated upon, except in the branch of education. After scouring the internet wildly for answers, I found two likely solutions to my quandary. The first, was the following review: The second was this book. The details in education are given because of the role Poetry played in Ancient Greek education, and this is the aspect of Poetry that Plato is attacking. Havelock makes a lot of other insightful points about vocabularly etc, half of which went over my head.
Further I do not understand Greek. However, the construction of his hypotheses, whether they are validated by fact or not, is intriguing in itself. He really made me think, and question in a way I was not used to. For example this is how it starts: A part of the work has become predace with the whole, or the meaning of a label has shifted in translation. Havelocm if the label has a popular and recognisable ring, it can come to exercise a kind of thought control over those who take the book in their hands.
Preface to Plato — Eric A. Havelock | Harvard University Press
They form an expectation which accords with the title but is belied by much of the substance of what the author has to say. They cling to a preconception of his intentions, insensibly allowing their minds to mould the content of what they read into the required shape. These remarks apply with full force to that treatise of Plato’s styled the Havelockk. Were it not for the title, it might be read for what it is, rather than as an essay in utopian political theory. It is a fact that only about a third of the work concerns itself with statecraft as such.
The text deals at length and often with a great variety of matters which bear on the human condition, but these are matters which would certainly have no place in a modem treatise on politics.
Not only is he answering my concern about the lack of political theory, he is making the seemingly obvious hypothesis that maybe it is not about political theory at all. The presentation of this hypothesis, however, disguises its sheer brilliance. Platk all my confusion, I not once doubted that Plato aimed to write on political theory.
Not sure if I buy it completely, however, it asks really interesting questions about the impact of our means of communication on our fundamental thinking. The way he describes the process of self-realization is equally fascinating. And when this day came, science would awaken egic. However, while few people claim to be Platonic idealists, the way we continue to describe our world in abstractions definitely has deeper parallels to Plato then I initially thought.
: Preface to Plato (History of the Greek Mind) (): Eric A. Havelock: Books
Once again, his description of this historical process is in itself, thought-provoking. Makes sense of the transition involved in thinking by memorized narratives versus writing — that is, abstraction. I’d say “page turner” but that’d be way too strong.
Still, many juicy bits like the singing Turkish soldiers of W W 1 who, still part of the narrative epic culture, spoke in near rhyme. Oct 10, berthenia rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This book completely transformed my world view. It was originally recommended by an ancient languages scholar at U.
Apr 08, Jesse Whyte rated it it was amazing. One of those books that I encountered too late. But when I did, it suddenly synthesized years of related reading. Sep 15, Egor Sofronov rated it liked it. If an enlightening enterprise in archaealogy of knowledge into the Platonic Revolution, then a bit tautological one. Febri rated it it was amazing Feb 11, Jerry p Sortini rated it really liked it Feb 20, Ana Erthal rated it it was amazing Aug 03, Libyrinths rated it really liked it Apr 22, Erick rated it really liked it May 13, Alyssa rated it really liked it Oct 30, Michelle rated it liked it Nov 14, Mark Pruett rated it it erci amazing Jul 07, Sheikh Tajamul rated it really liked it Apr 05, Chris Mullen rated it liked it Apr 14, Lisa rated it it was amazing May 23, Matthew Lopez rated it it was prefacee Apr 03, Edmund rated it it was amazing Sep 19, Cuma rated it really liked it Nov 08, Eric James rated it really liked it Jun 24, Franek rated it it was amazing Sep 12, Sean Ramsey rated it really liked it Jan 30, Matt rated it really liked it Jul 15, Peter fric it it was amazing Jan 30, Gregg Miller rated it it was amazing Mar 04, Patrick rated it really liked it Jul 24, John rated it it was amazing Oct 28, Rachel Powers rated it really liked it Jun 06, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
About Eric Alfred Havelock. He was a professor at the University of Toronto and was active in the Canadian socialist movement during the s.
In the s and s, he served as chair of the classics departments at both Harvard and Yale.