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By M. A. R. Habib

This finished consultant to the background of literary feedback from antiquity to the current day offers an authoritative evaluation of the most important hobbies, figures, and texts of literary feedback, in addition to surveying their cultural, historic, and philosophical contexts.

  • Supplies the cultural, historic and philosophical heritage to the literary feedback of every era
  • Enables scholars to determine the improvement of literary feedback in context
  • Organised chronologically, from classical literary feedback via to deconstruction
  • Considers quite a lot of thinkers and occasions from the French Revolution to Freud’s perspectives on civilization
  • Can be used along any anthology of literary feedback or as a coherent stand-alone introduction

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In Protagoras, the role of poetry in education and the inculcation of virtue is discussed (325e–326d). The Symposium talks of the motives behind poetic composition, such as the desire to embody and preserve certain concepts of wisdom and virtue (209a). The Phaedrus distinguishes between productive and unproductive inspiration (245a), as well as between the relative virtues of speech and writing. And the Cratylus discusses, inconclusively, various aspects of the nature of language, such as the connection between words and things.

Such will be a state guided by the coveting of honor (VIII, 547d–548c). This system naturally gives way to oligarchy where government office is attached to a property qualification (VIII, 550c) and where the city is no longer a unity but divided effectively into two cities, between rich and poor (VIII, 551d). Owing to this inequitable condition, such a city will be marked by crime and the pervasive presence of beggars (VIII, 552d). What is perhaps most interesting here is the way Plato characterizes the “soul” of the oligarchic man.

Plato sees the current separation of these roles as itself an expression of multiplicity; at present, a “motley horde” pursues either task independently (V, 473d). Plato here unwittingly reveals that, if the movement toward knowledge and justice is essentially a movement toward unity whether in individual or state, it is also a movement of coercion. The ruling faculty in the soul and the ruling body in the state do not unify any real differences: the unity Plato has in mind is achieved by suppressing all difference and imperiously positing itself as the constant inner structure of a given type of variety in the physical world.

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