Kriterion: Revista de Filosofia
Print version ISSN 0100-512X
NADDAF, Gerard. The role of the poet in Plato's ideal cities of Callipolis and Magnesia. Kriterion [online]. 2008, vol.4Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0100-512X.
Plato's attitude toward the poets and poetry has always been a flashpoint of debate, controversy and notoriety, but most scholars have failed to see their central role in the ideal cities of the Republic and the Laws, that is, Callipolis and Magnesia. In this paper, I argue that in neither dialogue does Plato "exile" the poets, but, instead, believes they must, like all citizens, exercise the expertise proper to their profession, allowing them the right to become full-fledged participants in the productive class. Moreover, attention to certain details reveals that Plato harnesses both positive and negative factors in poetry to bring his ideal cities closer to a practical realization. The status of the poet and his craft in this context has rarely to my knowledge been addressed.
Keywords : Plato; Poetry; Poets; Mimesis; Myths; Demiurge; Callipolis; Magnesia.