Philosophy Guide In Verse
eBook (PDF), 99 Pages
Philosophy Guide In Verse is written in clear and simple language, by a former college teacher and Ph.D in Philosophy. It has a bonus commentary, in text form. It is written so that any person with an interest in Philosophy, could easily understand it. There are poems on Plato, Descartes, the British empiricists, Kant, Hegel, Marx, convergence theory, existentialism, 20th century Anglo-American philosophy, and references to Buddhism.
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Nov 20, 2010Although there are many good reasons for the existence of a History of Philosophy in Verse, I will rest content by adverting to just one; to wit: that poets themselves need philosophy, in order to mature their faculties so as to address the complete human condition. Everyone should be acquainted with the definition of philosophy as the love of wisdom. Speaking for myself, if there is no wisdom in a poem, I may read it once but am not likely to read it again. In this modern age of equality, when anyone has the right to do or be anything he wants, this insistence upon wisdom is a positive impediment to bad poetry. If one is seeking wisdom, especially by means of philosophy, all the ineptly written, trite, or simply incoherent pieces of writing that pass for poetry, are immediately unmasked for the frauds that they are. This is not to say that all poetry should be deathly serious. Even light verse can be wise in its way; for wisdom, like King David, knows how to dance in praise of the... More > Lord. Robert Frost has been very much quoted as saying that a poem should begin in delight and end in wisdom; and he has demonstrated in his poetry that philosophy can be quite subtle and not at all didactic. The poet should not have to hit his readers over their heads. He should know that wisdom itself cannot be expressed directly, and that the poem should be a kind of Zen finger pointing at the moon. T.S. Eliot said that if a poet wishes to be able to compose after his twenty-fifth year, he should be educated in the classics. In other words, mere inspiration is not enough; there has to be some learning involved; some comprehension of the historical tradition, which includes a knowledge of what the great philosophers, eastern as well as western, have contributed to civilization. Broadly and bluntly speaking, a poet who refuses to be taught by philosophy, is simply an ignoramus whose productions cannot be taken seriously by seekers of the truth. As for people who merely wish to be entertained in a learned, cultured, and witty way, I have nothing to say in the present connection. There is a point at which philosophy and poetry are indistinguishable, as anyone knows who appreciates Dante and Plato. There is high poetry in Nietzsche and Emerson. Nevertheless, as so many poets have demonstrated, poetry is not the same as philosophy. Poets need a History of Philosophy in Verse, if only to teach them that Ideas are the foundations of genuine experience. I hope that I have persuasively argued the case for reading Paul Dolinsky’s free verse overview of the Love of Wisdom. Here a poet will find ample material for inspiration, and threads to follow that will lead out of the labyrinth of self-indulgent “art for art’s sake”, into a realm in which the philosophical pursuit of wisdom is seen to lead to the realization of “that love which moves the sun and other stars.”< Less
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- Paul Dolinsky, Ph.D (Standard Copyright License)
- Second Printing, 2010, Lulu Press.
- November 5, 2010
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