Abstract

In Plato’s Ion, Socrates’ cross-examination of the rhapsode Ion reveals that poetry—considered as an activity encompassing rhapsodic performers and poetry-makers—is not a technical field. Furthermore, the cross-examination shows that the identity of rhapsodes and poets, much like rhetoricians and sophists, is unstable and in perpetual transformation. Insofar as their identity cannot be attached to any technē, their capacity for performing a specific function and for being allocated a stable site in the social sphere is jeopardized. Socrates may reveal the instability of poets and rhapsodes, but this forcefully leads to an inability to decide regarding their social position.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9234
Print ISSN
0009-8418
Pages
pp. 491-521
Launched on MUSE
2017-08-09
Open Access
No
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