Christopher Janaway

in Images of Excellence

Published in print February 1998 | ISBN: 9780198237921
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597800 | DOI:

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Discusses Plato's dialogue Ion, in which it is claimed that poets and performers of poetry succeed in their arts not by knowledge or the expertise (techne) of a craftsman, but by inspiration. A link is suggested with modern views, stemming from romanticism, that art is the domain of irrationality and genius rather than the application of generalizable rational principles. However, Plato gives a low evaluation of poetry because of its alleged distance from this kind of knowledge.

Keywords: inspiration; Ion; Plato; poetry; romanticism; techne

Chapter.  10309 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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