Artistic Philosophy, Philosophical Art: Rediscovering Plato's Republic with Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse

Gima, Charlene
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Plato's Republic discusses how best to establish and order a community that will provide a good life for its citizens. As the main interest in the discussion is the welfare of the people in the community, the Republic is naturally concerned with establishing the best mode of living and thinking possible: a mode of life which discovers a limited accommodationforpoetryandart. Infact,poetry, a narrative of life that competes with philosophy, and is used to educate and shape Greek perception of the world. by providing metaphors for structuring experiences and appropriate reactions to certain situations. Plato takes poetry as a competitor to philosophy very seriously. But the atnte tion he pays to the threat that poetry and art pose to the stability of his ideal community is also an indication of the value Plato accorded to them. In fact, the extreme lengths he goes to in order to prove and remove the danger of poetry and art from the Republic suggests conversely the strength of the atttrac ion Plato felt for poetry and art.
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