Lecturer: Prof Rick Benitez
his talk looks at Plato’s critique of poetry in the Ion. It considers 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 are truly inspired or not. The talk concludes by considering the relative value of philosophy and inspiration in the light of Plato’s critique.
Rick Benitez was born in El Paso, Texas and studied philosophy at the Unviersity 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 Univerity of Sydney.
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In October 1916, the Ithacan migrants of Melbourne established the ITHACAN PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY "The Ulysses", with an inaugural membership of some 153 members. This was in response to pleas for aid from their loved ones in Ithaca who were suffering deprivation during the First World War.
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