David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Catherine Atherton (ed.), Form and Content in Didactic Poetry (1998)
I argue that philosophy was naturally conceived and written in verse, not prose, in the early years of philosophy, and that prose writing would be the exception not the norm. I argue that philosophers developed their ideas in verse and did not repackage ideas and thoughts first formulated in non-poetic genres, so there is no adaptation or modification involved in "putting it into poetry". This also means that the content and the form are interdependent, and the poetic details are part of the message, and integral to understanding the philosophy. In both Parmenides and Empedocles there are interesting patterns of linearity and circularity in the composition which mimic and reinforce the message in the poem, which is a philosophical message about, respectively, linear journeys and cosmic cycles.
|Keywords||Empedocles Parmenides Didactic Poetry Poetics of Philosophy Philosophical Poets Literary form and content|
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