Phronesis 49 (2):169-201 (2004)

Suzanne Stern-Gillet
Victoria University of Manchester
Plato's "Ion," despite its frail frame and traditionally modest status in the corpus, has given rise to large exegetical claims. Thus some historians of aesthetics, reading it alongside page 205 of the Symposium, have sought to identify in it the seeds of the post-Kantian notion of 'art' as non-technical making, and to trace to it the Romantic conception of the poet as a creative genius. Others have argued that, in the "Ion," Plato has Socrates assume the existence of a technē of poetry. In this article, these claims are challenged on exegetical and philosophical grounds. To this effect, Plato's use of poiētēs and poiēsis in the Symposium is analysed, the defining criteria of technē in the "Ion" and other dialogues are identified and discussed, and the 'Romantic' interpretation of the dialogue is traced to Shelley's tendentious translation of it. These critical developments lead to what is presented as a more faithful reading of the dialogue. In the "Ion," it is claimed, Plato seeks to subvert the traditional status of poetry by having Socrates argue that poetry is both non-rational and non-cognitive in nature. In the third part of the article, suggestions are offered as to the contribution made by the "Ion" to the evolution of Plato's reflections on poetic composition, and particularly as to the reasons which later induced Plato to substitute the concept of mimesis for that of inspiration in his account of poetry.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/1568528041475176
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,593
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

An Introduction to Plato's Republic.Julia Annas - 1981 - Oxford University Press.
The Principles of Art.R. G. Collingwood - 1938 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker.A. L. Hilliard - 1952 - Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):191-192.
Plato.C. J. Rowe - 2003 - Bristol Classical Press.
The Principles of Art.R. G. Collingwood - 1938 - Oxford University Press USA.

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Performance E Élenkhos No Íon de Platão.Fernando Muniz - 2012 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 9:17-25.
Furor Divinus : Creativity in Plato's Ion.Andrew Benjamin - 2015 - Odradek : Studies in Philosophy of Literature, Aesthetics and New Media Theories 1 (2).
Performance E Élenkhos No Íon de Platão.Fernando Muniz - 2012 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 9:17-25.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Phaedrus, Ion, Gorgias, and Symposium. Plato - 1938 - Oxford University Press.
Plato’s Ion on What Poetry Is About.T. F. Morris - 1993 - Ancient Philosophy 13 (2):265-272.
Plato on Poetry: Ion. P Murray.E. Belfiore - 1998 - The Classical Review 48 (1):20-21.
Image and Word.Günter Figal - 2003 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 7 (2):251-259.
The Dialogues of Plato. Plato - 1931 - London: Oxford University PRess.


Added to PP index

Total views
93 ( #103,929 of 2,385,763 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #556,216 of 2,385,763 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes