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The Rhapsody of Philosophy: Plato and the Poets

alt“The Rhapsody of Philosophy: Plato and the Poets” is the topic of a lecture Professor Rick Benitez will present next Thursday 14 April, as a part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars, offered for the sixth consecutive year by the Greek Community of Melbourne.

In his lecture Professor Benitez will talk about Plato’s critique of poetry in the Ion. He will consider the conversation between a philosopher (Socrates) and a rhapsode (Ion) about how poetry is created and communicated, and what claims a poet or rhapsode might have to deserve praise for wisdom.

Plato’s view is that the composition of excellent poems is a matter of inspiration, and so also is excellent performance. While it is not a philosophical matter to receive such inspiration, it is a philosophical matter to subject the products of purported inspiration to examination, to see whether they are truly inspired or not. The talk concludes by considering the relative value of philosophy and inspiration in the light of Plato’s critique.

Professor Rick Benitez was born in El Paso, Texas and studied philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught ancient Greek philosophy at the University of Sydney since 1992. Rick is a specialist on the philosophy of Plato; his book Reflections on Plato’s Poetics is due out in early May.

Rick is currently Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney.

When: Thursday, 14 April 2016, at 7.00pm
Where: Ithacan Philanthropic Society, 2nd Floor, 329 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
More info: or +61 3 9662 2722