Platon: “Le poète est une chose légère”.

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“De la même façon, c’est la Muse qui par elle-même rend certains hommes inspirés et qui, à travers ces hommes inspirés, forme une chaîne d’autres enthousiastes. Car ce n’est pas en vertu de la technique, mais bien en vertu de l’inspiration et de la possession que tous les poètes épiques, j’entends les bons poètes épiques, récitent tous ces beaux poèmes. Et il en va de même pour tous les poètes lyriques, les bons poètes lyriques ; tous ceux qui sont pris du délire des Corybantes n’ont plus leur raison lorsqu’ils dansent, les poètes lyriques n’ont plus leur raison lorsqu’ils composent leurs chants si beaux. Dès qu’ils sont entrés dans l’harmonie et le rythme, ils sont possédés par le transport bachique, et ils sont comme les bacchantes qui puisent aux fleuves le miel et le lait lorsqu’elles sont possédées et quand elles n’ont plus leur raison, exactement comme le fait l’âme des poètes lyriques, selon leur propre aveu. Car c’est bien là ce que nous disent ces poètes, que c’est à des sources de miel, dans certains jardins et vallons des Muses, qu’ils puisent les chants pour nous les apporter à la façon des abeilles, en volant comme elles. Et ce qu’ils disent est vrai. Car le poète est une chose légère, ailée et sacrée, qui ne peut composer avant d’être inspirée par un dieu, avant de perdre sa raison, de se mettre hors d’elle-même. Tant qu’un homme reste en possession de son intellect, il est parfaitement incapable de faire œuvre poétique et de chanter des oracles’.

Platon, Ion, 533d-543b

N.B: A partir du 1e Juillet et pour tous les samedis du mois, vous trouverez sur la page principale de mon blog, dans la rubrique “Portfolio” des cours de philosophie gratuits.

Intro to Plato’s Republic: The Allegory of the Cave

In this episode of Literary Tales, we examine and explore the wonders of the Great Books examining, in short form, aspects of Plato’s Republic and especially his “Allegory of the Cave” in order to understand its political implications rather than ontological and epistemological implications. ________________________________________________________________ Support Wisdom: My Book on Plato:

Intro to Plato’s Republic: The Allegory of the Cave

Athens and Jerusalem: the role of philosophy in faith, with analysis by St. Gregory Palamas

For me the role of philosophy in Christian faith has always been something like Anselm’s famous motto: “faith seeking understanding.” When applied to the faith, Philosophy is just faith seeking understanding, useful for synthesizing with reason those things initially accepted by faith. Philosophy offers the chance to know those things which the faith preaches. Didn’t […]

Athens and Jerusalem: the role of philosophy in faith, with analysis by St. Gregory Palamas

The Ancient Greeks and the sense of harmony.

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The Greek word “cosmos” meant initially universe/nature but also beauty and harmony. According to ancient Greeks, nature in its wide sense is the archetype of beauty and harmony. Therefore, all what an artist had to do back then is to copy the natural harmony in their work. No outrageous creative ideas, no artistic experimentation beyond what is out there, art had to imitate nature. The artistic value of any work of art depended on the imitating skill of the artist.

The obsession or faithfulness to the archetype of harmony pushed ancient Greeks to create and develop geometry, not only theoretically but practically too. Cities were built upon geometrical plans. Geometry and symmetry bring out intellectual and urban harmony.

So how did this quest for harmony reflect on philosophy and the human body?

Since Socrates – who took a different philosophical path than pre-Socratic philosophers – philosophy had an ethical goal. One would learn philosophy in order to live a better life on both individual and collective levels. Ethics was believed to be the order and the harmony for the soul.

Greeks understood that the human body had to be aligned to the multilayered harmony. This is why philosophers preached moderation in everything, which pushed the invention of the Olympic Games. It was clear to them that sports maintained the natural harmony of the human body, hence its best picture in Greek sculptures.

The body in philosophy

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Philosophy is mainly linked to existential questions, abstract concepts and metaphysical issues. However, many philosophers (maybe all of them) mentioned, studied and conceptualized the body. Some did it in an attempt to understand the cause behind the being just like the pre-Socratic did by studying nature, the physis; others focused more on the human body.

The body as a philosophical concept is underrated and it deserves our attention to comprehend life, energy and fitness! While the latter is never linked to philosophy, philosophers talked about it in between the lines.

In a round up of this subject, the principal problematic that always emerges about the body is its relation to the mind that you can check in my posts:

The mind body connection (part I) The mind body connection II The mind body connection III The mind body connection IV

On a more personal note, Spinoza and Descartes, although adversaries, taught me how to workout and you can check my posts on both of them:

What Spinoza taught me about my body

Descartes’ mechanism and the muscle-centric approach in fitness

Finally, why are we so eager to go through difficult physical contortions and put the body through ultimate tests? Check my post on Deleuze’s concept of the body without organs in this post:

Yoga or the deleuzian Body without Organs !

Complete Pleasure And Philosophy Of The Epicureans!

Complete Pleasure And Philosophy Of The Epicureans! Epicureanism is a philosophical school of intelligence that contends that the quest for delight is the essential or most vital objective of this human existence.  An Epicurean endeavours to augment net delight (joy less the non-pleasure). Anyway upon at long last picking up this delight, satisfaction may stay […]

Complete Pleasure And Philosophy Of The Epicureans!

Plato and the Indian thought

“I ask every American to join me in this cause. Uniting to fight the common foes we face: Anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness, hopelessness..” was the clarion call given by the new US President soon after his swearing-in. That’s more like a sermon delivered by a spiritual master extolling his audience to […]

Plato and the Indian thought

Thoughts on empathy..

People have spent the last few months, since multiple lockdowns taking place all over the world, on self wellbeing. Social media is flooded with videos on yoga, meditation, routines, diets, fitness, wellbeing. For this is very helpful, however isn’t the time to redirect this energy on kindness and empathy towards others?

One can’t be happy alone. It has been said centuries ago, happiness is not solely an individualistic purpose as much as it is also a collective one. Greek philosophers for example thought of politics as eudemonistic (eudemonia, in Greek, means happiness). According to them, politics should aim for high moral values, the highest being the city’s happiness or well being.

Politics these days is far from it’s original definition. Perhaps it is time, people take themselves and others in charge by being empathetic and kind to one another, for empathy is a natural human tendency. After at least a century of praising completion and ambition, it is hard for everyone to be empathetic and less selfish again.

Below, the philosopher and economist Adam Smith wrote about empathy as the main pillar of social cohesion:

Philosophical review, Vol.I Issue I, The beginning of Greek philosophy and The moral universe in the pre-socratics.. — for much deliberation

Summary Ancient philosophy Historical period: Pre-Socratic Branch: (Introduction) School/Movement: Monism / Pluralism / Eleatic school Lecture series: History of philosophy Lecture number: #1 The beginning of Greek philosophy, #2 The moral universe in the pre-socratics Original post date: 2019-07-18, 2019-07-19 Philosophers: Thales, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Democritus, Zeno of Elea, Xenophanes, Anaximander, Aristotle Lecture […]

Philosophical review, Vol.I Issue I, The beginning of Greek philosophy and The moral universe in the pre-socratics.. — for much deliberation

Peculiarly inspiring quotes!

“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid”. Epictetus

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage”. Seneca

“We have art in order not to die from the truth”. F. Nietzsche

“Religion is to mysticism what popularization is to science”. H. Bergson

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live”. Marcus Aurelius

“Free election of masters does not abolish the masters of the slaves”. Herbert Marcuse

“Love is a serious mental illness”. Plato

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors”. Plato

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit”. Aristotle