This article investigates how flight in battle is presented in the newly discovered Archilochus fragment (P.Oxy LXIX 4708) and compares it to the Homeric treatment of the issue. It argues that the traditional dichotomy between scholars who see Archilochus as epic values and those who see him as continuous with them is too simplistic, and that the new poem provides clear evidence of a more nuanced approach to epic material. The fragment's approach reflects many of the subtleties found in Homeric (...) attitudes to flight, and in this respect we see Archilochus using the cultural authority of epic to add weight to his argument. Nevertheless, the choice of the Telephus myth, which tells the story of a mistaken conflict, is an ironic one, and the narrative foregrounds the ways in which the Achaeans at Mysia fall short of heroic norms and perhaps casts aspersions on the contemporary scenario to which the mythological conflict appears to be compared. Hence the poem contains competing strands of consolation, celebration of an aristeia and mockery in a way which demonstrates Archilochus' varied and subtle relationship to epic. (shrink)
Homer has a unique understanding of the body. On his view the body is that by means of which we are subject to moods, and moods are what attune us to our situation. Being attuned to a situation, in turn, opens us to the various ways things and people can be engaging. We agree with Homer that this receptivity is evident throughout our entire existence. It characterizes everything from our basic bodily skills for coping with objects and people (...) to our tendency to be immersed in and guided by moods such as the erotic or the agonistic – whole ways for a situation to matter. (shrink)
This thesis investigates reflexivity in ancient Greek literature and philosophy from Homer to Plato. It contends that ancient Greek culture developed a notion of personhood that was characteristically reflexive, and that this was linked to a linguistic development of specialized reflexive pronouns, which are the words for 'self'.
This edition of early Greek writings on social and political issues includes works by more than thirty authors. There is a particular emphasis on the sophists, with the inclusion of all of their significant surviving texts, and the works of Alcidamas, Antisthenes and the 'Old Oligarch' are also represented. In addition there are excerpts from early poets such as Homer, Hesiod and Solon, the three great tragedians Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, the historians Herodotus and Thucydides, medical writers and presocratic (...) philosophers. Besides political theory, areas represented include early anthropology, sociology, ethics and rhetoric, and the wide range of issues discussed includes human nature, the origin of human society, the origin of law, the nature of justice, the forms of good government, the distribution of wealth, and the distribution of power among genders and social classes. (shrink)
Improving the quality of communication between doctors and their patients and colleagues is of vital importance. Poor communication, especially within and across clinical teams working around patients in pathways of care, leads to avoidable medical error, where an unacceptable number of patients are severely harmed or die each year. The figures from such iatrogenesis have now reached epidemic proportions, constituting one of the major killers of patients worldwide. Despite 30 years' worth of explicit attention to teaching communication skills at undergraduate (...) level, communication in medicine is failing to improve at an acceptable rate. The authors suggest a rather unusual approach to this dilemma of ‘communication hypocompetence’—thinking medicine lyrically—as an extension of thinking with Homer's little-discussed lyrical aesthetic. A key part of the problem of communication hypocompetence is the well-researched phenomenon of ‘empathy decline’ in students, where ‘hardening’ and cynicism occur as over-determined ego defences. Empathy decline may be a symptom of the repression of the lyrical genre in medicine, where the epic, tragic and dark comic genres dominate. The lyrical genre emphasises coming to know the patient as a person and an individual. Importantly, central to performing the lyric genre is the heightened use of the senses in taking a history, physical examination and diagnostic work. Framing medicine as lyrical work challenges undue emphasis on ‘cure’ at the expense of humane ‘care’. (shrink)
: Erich Auerbach's famous comparative study of Homer and the Bible, "Odysseus' Scar," argues that their contrastive styles derive from the different possibilities available to oral tradition and literature. In support of this thesis, I invoke two theories of verbal art: Walter Benjamin's description of the storyteller's craft, and Victor Shklovsky's definition of art as "defamiliarization." Through a comparative analysis of the use of type-scenes in Homer and in biblical narrative, I demonstrate how Homer is a traditional (...) storyteller, practicing an "art of the familiar," whereas biblical narrative "defamiliarizes" traditional forms. (shrink)
Empathy is thought a desirable quality in doctors as a key component of communication skills and professionalism. It is therefore thought desirable to teach it to medical students. Yet empathy is a quality whose essence is difficult to capture but easy to enact. We problematise empathy in an era where empathy has been literalised and instrumentalised, including its measurement. Even if we could agree a universally acceptable definition of empathy, engendering it in the student requires a more subtle approach than (...) seems the case currently. We therefore examine this modern concept and compare it with others such as pity and compassion, using the medium of Homer’s Iliad. Two famous scenes from the Iliad elicit pity in the characters and the audience. Pity and compassion are, however, given a complexity within the narrative that often seems lacking in modern ways of conceptualising and teaching empathy. (shrink)
The rhetorical structure of Vico’s pedagogy is shaped predominantly by the ars topica. While most would associate the ars topica with the classical Greek and Roman cultures, where theories of topoi predominate rhetorical theory and pedagogy, this essay shows that the ars topica in the rhetorical structure of Vico’s pedagogy must be heroic in nature, rather than classical. Embodied in the figure of Homer, the ars topica in Vico’s pedagogy stands beyond the technical consciousness of the classical world. The (...) figure of Homer stands for the imaginative poetic capacity to make figural connections and to escape the reduction of meaning to technical formulae. Such escape, for Vico, ensures the life and liberty of not only the individual mind but the civic realm. (shrink)
Sean Carroll argues that we should endorse atheism since there are no good reasons for affirming the more complex thesis of theism over the less complexthesis of materialism. However, this argument relies on an epistemological minimalism we should reject.
Narratives of the experience of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) are relatively rare in the Irish context. A scourge of the early twentieth century, TB was as much a social as a physically debilitating disease that rendered sufferers silent about their experience. Thus, the personal diaries and letters of Irish poet, Seán Ó Ríordáin, (1916–1977) are rare. This article presents translations of his personal papers in a historico-medical context to chronicle Ó Ríordáin’s experience of a life marred by respiratory disease. Familiar to (...) generations of schoolchildren are his imaginative poems, whose lively metre punctuated the Irish language curriculum from primary through to secondary schooling; for most they leave an indelible mark. Such buoyant poems however belie the reality of his existence, lived in the shadow of chronic illness, and punctuated with despair over his condition and anxiety about the periods of extended sick leave his illness necessitated. Although despair dominated his diaries and he routinely begged God, Mary, the Saints and the devil for death, they were also the locus where his creativity developed. In his diaries, caricatures of friends and sketches of everyday things nestle among the first lines of some of his most influential poems and quotes from distinguished philosophers and writers. Evocative and tragic, his diaries offer a unique prism to the experience of respiratory disease in Ireland. (shrink)
A persistent theme in the Vitae of Aesop, Archilochus, and Homer, and in Plato's Apology, is the righteous poet brought to trial by a corrupt society that has found him and his poetry intolerable. As society condemns the poet, it condemns itself, and is punished following the poet's punishment ; often the society then grants a hero cult to the poet.
Modern editions read vulgate (nominative). This yields a different syntax: a rapid double change of subject or, equivalently, a parenthesis interrupting the flow of the sentence. This possibility, raised and dismissed by Eustathius, goes unmentioned by modern scholars, who are often in general (unlike their second-century counterpart Nicanor) ill-disposed to Homeric parentheses. A survey of Homeric parentheses shows the phenomenon in general and the specific instance postulated at Od. 24.398 to be unobjectionable. The validity of the terms and for Homeric (...) discourse is also defended. (shrink)
In this article I argue both that an understanding of sport?s general character as competitive play can help us to read Homer more insightfully and that this reading can boomerang back to us to further illuminate the sport as competitive play thesis. My overall method is that of (Rawlsian) reflective equilibrium. The three sections of Homer that I examine are the Phaiacian games in Book 8 of the ?Odyssey?, the Patroclos games in Book 23 of the ?Iliad?, and (...) the Penelope games in Books 21?22 of the ?Odyssey? (shrink)
This book features readings of over twenty key texts and authors in Western poetry and philosophy, including Homer, Plato, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare and Rousseau. Simon Haines argues that the history of both can be seen as a struggle between two different conceptions of the self: the "romantic" vs. the "realist".
This article examines social interaction in Homer in the light of modern conversation analysis, especially Grice's theory of conversational implicature. Some notoriously problematic utterances are explained in terms of their 'off-record' significance. One particular off-record conversation strategy is characterized by Homer as kertomia, and this is discussed in detail. The article focusses on social problems at the end of Achilles' meeting with Priam in Iliad 24,. and in particular on the much-discussed word "epikertoméon" (24.649).
Next SectionIn a series of previous articles, we have considered how we might reconceptualise central themes in medicine and medical education through ‘thinking with Homer’. This has involved using textual approaches, scenes and characters from the Iliad and Odyssey for rethinking what is a ‘communication skill’, and what do we mean by ‘empathy’ in medical practice; in what sense is medical practice formulaic, like a Homeric ‘song’; and what is lyrical about medical practice. Our approach is not to historicise (...) medicine and medical education, but to use thinking with Homer as a medium and metaphor for questioning the habitual and the taken-for-granted in contemporary practice. In this article, we tackle the complex theme of ‘translation’. We use the lens of translation studies to examine the process of turning the patient's story into medical language. We address the questions: what makes a ‘good’ translation? What are the consequences of mistranslation and poor translation? And, while things are inevitably lost in translation, does this matter? (shrink)
This article focuses on Homers idea of reflexive rhetoric. The majority of Homeric deliberation scenes contain no deliberative calculi. One approach to this problem would be to generalize from the scenes where Odysseus uses deliberative calculi to those where he does not. One might argue, though, that data have to be transmitted to and outputted from a computer via interfaces, one where data are transformed into electrical impulses, and one where the output is printed as information. The deliberative calculus cannot (...) be the essential link between deliberation and persuasion, though it undoubtedly figures into the process of self-persuasion to the extent that it either explicitly or implicitly brings about a particular decision. In this perspective, the fact that Homer is frequently silent about deliberative calculi is irrelevant to the question of whether Odysseus persuades himself. The idea of Homeric rhetoric is alleged to pose the problem of anachronism. Moving toward an account of reflexive rhetoric allows to see in even greater detail the centrality of rhetoric to human condition. Accession Number: 18705553; Mifsud, Mari Lee 1; Affiliations: 1: Department of Rhetoric and Public Address, Whitman College.; Issue Info: 1998, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p41; Thesaurus Term: RHETORIC; Thesaurus Term: AUTHORSHIP; Thesaurus Term: LITERATURE; Subject Term: HOMER; Subject Term: ODYSSEUS (Greek mythology); Subject Term: ERRORS & blunders, Literary; Subject Term: PHILOSOPHY; Number of Pages: 14p; Document Type: Article. (shrink)
This volume in the Clarendon Edition of the Works of Thomas Hobbes contains his translations of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, edited by Eric Nelson. Hobbes translated the Homeric poems into English verse during the course of the 1670s, when he was already well into his eighties. These texts constitute his most extensive single undertaking, as well as his last major work. Yet, despite the explosion of interest in Hobbes over the last fifty years, this is the first modern critical (...) edition of the Homer translations. Nelson provides extensive annotation detailing Hobbes's interactions with the Greek text of the epics and with other early-modern editions and commentaries, as well a substantial scholarly introduction placing Hobbes's enterprise in the wider context of Restoration politics and poetics. Nelson also offers a detailed analysis of the translations themselves, identifying the numerous instances in which Hobbes rewrites the poems in order to bring them into alignment with his views on politics, rhetoric, aesthetics, and theology. Hobbes's Iliads and Odysses of Homer, Nelson suggests, should be regarded as a continuation of Leviathan by other means. This edition will be fascinating reading for anyone interested in early-modern political philosophy, literature, and classical studies. (shrink)
This article examines the compilation known as the Contest of Homer and Hesiod. More usually mined for the material it preserves from the sophist Alcidamas, here I advance a reading that seeks to make sense of the compilation as a whole and situates the work ideologically in its Imperial context. An anecdote early in the compilation depicts the emperor Hadrian enquiring about Homer's birthplace and parents from the Delphic Oracle; he is told that Telemachus was Homer's father (...) and Ithaca his homeland. When the text says that we must believe this self-evidently absurd response on account of the status of the emperor, its author is satirizing Hadrian's ambitions to participate in the Greek intellectual world and the pressures on scholars to accept Hadrian's authority in their field. Moreover, the compiler has linked this anecdote to the long account of the poetic contest between Homer and Hesiod in order to draw an unflattering parallel between Hadrian and King Panedes, who, as writers such as Lucian and Dio Chrysostom suggested, exposed his ineptitude in choosing Hesiod over Homer as the victor of the contest. (shrink)
This paper progresses the original argument of Richard Ratzan that formal presentation of the medical case history follows a Homeric oral-formulaic tradition. The everyday work routines of doctors involve a ritual poetics, where the language of recounting the patient's ‘history’ offers an explicitly aesthetic enactment or performance that can be appreciated and given meaning within the historical tradition of Homeric oral poetry and the modernist aesthetic of Minimalism. This ritual poetics shows a reliance on traditional word usages that crucially act (...) as tools for memorisation and performance and can be linked to forms of clinical reasoning; both contain a tension between the oral and the written record, questioning the priority of the latter; and the performance of both helps to create the Janus-faced identity of the doctor as a ‘performance artist’ or ‘medical bard’ in identifying with medical culture and maintaining a positive difference from the patient as audience, offering a valid form of patient-centredness. (shrink)
This paper takes a conceptual look at cosmopolitanism and the related issue of what it means to be human in order to arrive at an alternative conceptual framework which is free from empiricist assumptions. With reference to a discussion on Homer’s Iliad , the author develops a ‘humanist’ model of discerning humanity. This model is then compared and contrasted with Martha Nussbaum’s version of cosmopolitanism. The notion of ‘aspect-seeing’ discussed by Wittgenstein in the second part of the Philosophical Investigations (...) is also examined in order to shed light on what it involves to discern humanity. Finally, racism is discussed from the philosophical perspective elaborated in order to highlight its distinctive conceptual features. It is hoped that this paper can refocus our attention on important issues concerning the basis of what it means to see human beings as human beings. (shrink)
What is the relation between acting intentionally and acting for a reason? While this question has generated a considerable amount of debate in the philosophy of action, on one point there has been a virtual consensus: actions performed for a reason are necessarily intentional. Recently, this consensus has been challenged by Joshua Knobe and Sean Kelly, who argue against it on the basis of empirical evidence concerning the ways in which ordinary speakers of the English language describe and explain (...) certain side-effect actions. Knobe and Kelly's argument is of interest not only because it challenges a widely accepted philosophical thesis on the basis of experimental evidence, but also because it indirectly raises an important and largely neglected question, the question of whether or in what sense an agent can perform a side-effect action for a reason. In this article, I address this question and provide a positive answer to it. Specifically, I argue that agents act for a reason whenever they perform side-effect actions as trade-offs. Thus, I claim that there are three distinct types of rational action: actions performed as ends in themselves, actions performed as means to further ends, and side-effect actions performed as trade-offs. Given this multiplicity of types of rational action, the question of whether or not actions performed for a reason are necessarily intentional is in need of refinement. The more specific question that lies at the heart of this article is whether or not side-effect actions performed as trade-offs are necessarily intentional. I conclude that, contrary to what Knobe and Kelly suggest, the question remains open. (shrink)
Note: The Simpson's, television's popular prime-time cartoon known for its satirical commentary on various social issues, recently took a shot at the creation-evolution debate by featuring Stephen Jay Gould prominently in one of its episodes. Here is Bill Dembski's review and observations of that episode.
What does The Simpsons have to say about this issue? Most likely, absolutely nothing. The Simpsons is a fine television show, but it’s not where to look for innovative ideas in cognitive neuroscience or the philosophy of mind. We think, however, that it can help give us insight into a related, and extremely important, issue. We might learn through this show something about common-sense metaphysics, about how people naturally think about consciousness, the brain and the soul.
In this paper, I argue that several of the main issues that became a focus for classical Greek philosophy were initially framed by Homer. In particular, Homer identifies a tension between justice and individual excellence, and problematizes the connection between the heroic conception of excellence and ``eudaimonia'''' (happiness). The later philosophers address the problems raised in Homer by profoundly transforming the way each of these terms was to be conceived.