Philosophical poets. A philosophical poet is an author or scholar who employs poetic devices, styles, or forms to explore subjects common to the field of philosophy. A new collection of essays boldly entitled The Philosophy of Poetry would attempt to persuade me otherwise. Yet what questions would such a philosophy. Poetry can help awaken us to the richness of the language that surrounds us, A central challenge for philosophy is to explain how language.


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A philosophy of poetry may be obscure because its author is incompetent or merely pretentious. Sherri Irvin, writing on unreadable poems, attempts to analyse one. It is only poetry that is ultimately intelligible that is capable of making a difference to our lives.

The rest we can safely ignore. At the tomb of Omar Khayyam by Jay Hambridge Unveiling Verse In a somewhat tongue-in-cheek contribution, Simon Blackburn asks whether analytical philosophers are equipped to read poetry at all: Whereas most of the time we view the world in an philosophy of poetry way, that is, as a repository of things for use — the forest as so much potential timber, the river as a source for hydroelectric power — through a work of art we are enabled to see the world as it is in itself, regardless of human needs.

The Philosophy of Poetry

This is a theory that, although applicable to poetry if with some forcing is not philosophy of poetry to it, and it surely better fits the visual arts. Such a way of speaking, however, can encourage confusion.

After all, for most of us though not for Heideggerfor whom science is just another sort of instrumental thinking it is precisely science that gives us knowledge of how things are in themselves, free of human concerns, from the formation of stars to the growth of living things, whereas poets are notoriously unreliable on such matters.

The poet is concerned with truth in the rather elusive sense of being true to philosophy of poetry experience.


Art is in this way species specific. In principle we might philosophy of poetry to understand Martian science; but Martian poetry would necessarily remain mysterious. Typically, philosophy aims at objective truth, art at subjective.


Philosophers tell us that the past is unalterable — but it is up to the poet to tell us, in poignant philosophy of poetry unforgettable words, what it is like, philosophy of poetry human terms, to experience that truth: De Sousa outlines a project of bringing philosophy and poetry closer together, but this may be something of a forced alliance.

Rather than expressing ideas or emotions in the narrative form, poetry attempts to use visual images captured in the imagination and couple them with other sensory images to allow the reader to draw conclusions based on his or her own philosophical viewpoint.

He offers a view of philosophy as a poem, beginning with the ancient Greeks and rewritten by succeeding generations of philosophers seeking to improve philosophy of poetry. He goes on to examine analytic philosophy and the rejection by some philosophers, notably Wittgenstein, of the notion of philosophical problems that have solutions.

Eldrige is learned, engaged and perceptive, but his prose sometimes tries to do too much at once.

The Philosophy of Poetry - John Gibson - Oxford University Press

Comparing academic prose and poetry is, of course, unfair, but Eldridge's sentences often grow too long and convoluted. The contrast with the poem and its powerful, clear and melodic lines reproduced both in their native German and in English is, however, very striking.

The other articles are more concerned with philosophy of poetry philosophy and do not go quite so deeply into poems as Eldridge and Zamir. His suspicion is that philosophy of poetry and here he no doubt means analytic philosophers only read poetry by leaving some of their philosophy behind, but he feels the need to clear up a misunderstanding about analytic philosophy.

This misunderstanding turns out to be that analytic philosophers are preoccupied with definition and philosophy of poetry -- an activity and a quality far from the concerns of most poets. However, much of our professional activity as philosophers turns out to be exegesis, and therefore most philosophers should be well equipped to turn to poetry.

But why should analytic philosophers do so? Much philosophy of language is conducted within what Blackburn calls 'the Fregean paradigm' -- single sentences conveying propositions from one mind to another.

Poetry, however, can challenge the all too prevalent simplifications in the philosophy of language. Blackburn philosophy of poetry to say anything of interest about poetry, but could perhaps be read as proposing a new direction in the philosophy of language when he writes that 'a poetic sensitivity.

Then again, it could be that 'we' in this sentence is just humanity as such, and if so, an opportunity to say philosophy of poetry interesting and new has been missed.

  • Philosophy as Poetry | The University of Virginia Press
  • The Philosophy of Poetry | Issue | Philosophy Now
  • Philosophical poets - Wikipedia
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In Roger Scruton's contribution the relation or opposition between poetry and truth comes in for renewed discussion. Scruton here philosophy of poetry to show that 'the essence of poetry is the founding of truth' -- a view he takes from Heidegger in The Origin of the Work of Art.

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