Thursday, August 27, 2009

Plato on poetry - Elucidations

Two graduate students of the University of Chicago have a philosophy podcast named Elucidations (feed). They interview their professors about assorted subjects in philosophy. For listeners familiar with podcasts in the genre, their approach will seem extremely familiar to Philosophy Bites.

The second episode came out with an interview with Professor Gabriel Richardson Lear. She spoke with hosts Matt Teichman and Mark Hopwood about Plato's argument about poetry: Bad poetry makes you a bad person. Poetry, in Plato's sense, includes music, literature and drama, or in other words, it is not just the words, but also the performance.

In order to understand Plato's normative point, Richardson Lear explains Plato's ethics, in which it is assumed that one must lead a good life. The good life, according to not just Plato alone, is a unified life - a life signified with a single meaning. The danger of poetry and especially bad poetry lies herein, that poetry expresses different identities and this breaks down the unity in life. These ideas seem totally exotic when written down here, but the podcast make it tangible and eventually allows the listener to apply this to modern life and thinking.

More Elucidations,
Elucidations - philosophy podcast review.
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