Hopkins: Poetry and philosophy

I am going to begin, as all philosophers do, by going back to the ancient Greeks, and then taking a quick tour of the present day, before returning to the ancient Greeks again. Let us begin with the so-called quarrel between philosophy and poetry–what was the reason for this? Well, philosophy was invented at a particular point in time, and in relation to poetry, it was a newcomer. When philosophy was invented it found another intellectual enterprise already in possession of the field, and that enterprise was poetry, primarily Homer and Hesiod. Plato, in trying to make intellectual space for philosophy, made so much space that he risked pushing poetry out of the field altogether as an intellectual enterprise. Plato assumes that poetry and philosophy are competitors in the same business; he can then be seen as attempting to make a hostile take-over bid.
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