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Cl36Sp08L12_Rp10_Ab - CLASSICS 36 LECTURE TWELVE REPUBLIC B...

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C LASSICS 36: L ECTURE T WELVE R EPUBLIC B OOK 10: P HILOSOPHY AND P OETRY 1. Book 10 vs. Books 2-3 1.1 Book 10 returns to the question first posed in Books 2-3: what literature (poetry) can be permitted in the ideal state?— So what has changed since then? Answer: identification of true object of the reasoning (philosophic) part of soul ; also individuation of the spirited part (595a). 1.2 Before Books 5-7, poetry had been the highest education that even the rulers got; now we look back on it from the viewpoint of philosophy and examine what makes poetry dangerous to all non-philosophers (those who lack the “antidote” of understanding what imitative poetry really is, 595b) 1.3 Also, greatest danger of poetry is that it can corrupt even those decent men who live by the honour code (spirit), see §3.4 2. Poetry and teaching 2.1 The danger is caused in part because the non-philosophic audience regards poets as teachers, who convey truths about human life (through presentation of exemplary situations) (598c-e, 606e). N.B. It is not the poets who are described as making this claim, but their audience (598c). 2.2 Why the poet is not a teacher (at least, not by virtue of being a poet): As mimetic artist, he is like a painter, who is an imitator of e.g. the couch that
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