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Poetry and philosophy.

 
 
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 08:20 am
I am interested to discover the deeper connection between poetry and philosophy.If anyone has knowledge or any ideas on the subject I would be gratefull if he or she enlightened me on this subject.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 822 • Replies: 8
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Didymos Thomas
 
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Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 01:14 pm
@diamantis,
If I recall correctly, it was George Santayana who began to call philosophy art. Whoever it was, I agree with them. And poetry is certainly art. Some poets seem more like philosophers - Walt Whitman, for example.

To be a decent poet, chances are you need to have some eye for philosophy. There has to be some real content to the words.
Master Pangloss
 
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Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2008 12:58 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
I would read Tragic Sense of Life by Miguel de Unamuno. Aside from being an amazing book, by an amazing philosopher, it has a little bit to say about this. He argues that philosophy is actually much closer to poetry than to mathematics for instance. At least in the sense that it requires a creative impulse which has more in common with art than the creativity of a mathematician, and that philosophy has an aesthetic quality and ability to move people which math does not. I tend to agree with him.
Doobah47
 
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Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2008 01:07 am
@Master Pangloss,
There's a difference between philosophy and poetry; a philosophy can be non-existent yet still convey a message.

Although not ignorant, an audience member could respond to a performance with still silence, yet it is possible that such a response conveys philosophy relevant to the cause (perhaps a moral value or a contrived appreciative response). An example might be the sales-person who calls the house; saying nothing could convey a philosophical position just as a speech could - perhaps the audience regards salesmanship as unworthy of response, perhaps relevant to the soul or to karmic intention - it is possible that the salesperson acknowledges the response and understands the reasoning based on intuition.

It is also possible to prove the non-existence of concepts which are accepted as existent, thus creating voids within a philosophy. Reason indicates that a hole does not exist, yet a hole is accepted as a phenomenon although technically it does not exist. The truth could be proven as an impossible, ineffable facet of language; there is no way to replicate reality in language, so any statement deviates from the intention and the reality which it seeks to replicate; so the words become symbols, which appropriate definitions that deviate, and thus deceive an audience by replacing reality with symbol. If language constitutes deception, any attempt at truth would be invalidated by the inclusion of deception. The truth could not be a lie. This explanation defines the non-existence of a concept, so one could infer that the conclusion of the philosophy is ineffable, or not logically possible - the conclusion is a 'true' statement that manifests itself, and self-destructs, thus becoming non-existent. In truth, the conclusion is silence.

A poem might contain silence, or a performance might include pauses; it is possible that words be omitted and the audience complete the poem or not, but a poem of complete silence - without title or verse - could not be defined as a creative work; it is surely clear that poetry is defined by it's existence as a creation, created by a poet.

A poem could not be created and not contain words, for such an act contradicts the notion of creativity; so the poem was not created, therefore there is no poem. It is possible that a philosophy could contain no words, yet still convey a reason or conclusion. The reason for philosophy is brought into question; if philosophy were not expressed nor conceived, could it cause effects upon reality? The answer is perhaps that there are reasons and conclusions for phenomena that have not been expressed, perhaps ineffable or perhaps undiscovered and not yet documented - it is possible that somebody discovers an object which wields power and influence, the linguistic identification and composition of explanations of such effects seem to be pre-ordained by the nature of the existing language, the invention of new words an act of poetry perhaps.
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Reconstructo
 
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Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 02:21 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;19082 wrote:
If I recall correctly, it was George Santayana who began to call philosophy art. Whoever it was, I agree with them. And poetry is certainly art. Some poets seem more like philosophers - Walt Whitman, for example.

To be a decent poet, chances are you need to have some eye for philosophy. There has to be some real content to the words.


Nice post. I completely agree. Also love Santayana. You mention Whitman. Well chosen. Blake too. And wasn't Nietzsche considered literature before the concept of philosophy changed some? Nietzsche describes truth as an army of metaphors. This is huge, really. Philosophy becoming conscious of itself of having been poetry all long. Philosophy is the self-hating poem. But Nietzsche is the "triumphant" embrace of metaphor?
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Reconstructo
 
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Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 03:48 pm
@diamantis,
Philosophy as poetry that aspires to be non-fiction.
Reconstructo
 
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Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2010 03:13 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;130095 wrote:
Philosophy as poetry that aspires to be non-fiction.


I have refined this position. Philosophy is logos that aspires to mathema.

A number is a transparent word. But there is only one number, and that number is one. And that number is abstract. For practical and artistic reasons, we draw a vertical stroke, which just happens to be a Euclidean line, a personal pronoun in English, and a phallic symbol, but that's another thread....

Poetry is analogical for two reasons. First, it is an analog signal, in the sense that it's meaning (i.e. the meaning of most words) is continuous-- or no more fixed than the value of pi. (A few words are exceptions to this, but they are not metaphorical.)

Poetry is also analogical or continuous because words are concepts, and concepts exist for two purposes, as far as I can tell. First, they organize the flux of qualia. Words divide the world into bite-size mentionable and thinkable pieces. In fact, man as far as he conceptualizes....can only think in pieces. The other purpose of concepts is not the organization of qualia but rather the organization of other concepts. Synthesis and metaphor are one. And this last sentence is what it describes. We can only think in pieces and meaning is transferred by equating or uniting or synthesizing pieces. The essence of a concept is synthesis. Concept is always and only synthesis, including the synthesis with negation. We can say what a thing/concept is not. It seems to me that all abstraction/synthesis is also always negation.

Philospohy as logos can only become as clean as number by means of abstraction toward the transcendental. Logos is always "half-"transcendental in that all concept is a synthesis, or a unity. But to the degree that logos is metaphorical and refers to the spatial present, it is not transcendental but temporal meaning continuous. Negative theology is God washed as clean as a number...and not just any number, but the only number...but do not forget the minus sign. God is not one but rather negative one, or non-one, or the square root of negative one, or i.
Twilight Siren
 
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Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 09:23 pm
@Reconstructo,
actually, pi is always the same value, people just round it off differently.

Anyways, the way I see it; not all poetry is philosophy, and not all philosophy is poetry. But I do believe that they are like two sisters . . .they may be very similar in many ways, but disagree on a lot. I believe that they help each other, and are stronger as one, but are also very independent of each other.

said by Doobah47
Quote:
The truth could be proven as an impossible, ineffable facet of language; there is no way to replicate reality in language, so any statement deviates from the intention and the reality which it seeks to replicate; so the words become symbols, which appropriate definitions that deviate, and thus deceive an audience by replacing reality with symbol. If language constitutes deception, any attempt at truth would be invalidated by the inclusion of deception. The truth could not be a lie. This explanation defines the non-existence of a concept, so one could infer that the conclusion of the philosophy is ineffable, or not logically possible - the conclusion is a 'true' statement that manifests itself, and self-destructs, thus becoming non-existent. In truth, the conclusion is silence.


I agree that "truth" cannot always be expressed efficiently (in any language), but that the "symbols" poets come up with to express it are usually quite adequate to express what they're trying to convey . . However, unless the reader is used to thinking in abstracts and metaphors, and/or are able to decipher the underlying ideas and philosophies in the poem . . . the point is lost, and deception (however unintentional) results.

However, I feel like you may be looking too deeply into this notion.

How else shall we be shown these truths? . . . Other than from within ourselves, from a divine source, or by the example of others?

This is part of the job of the artist, and the poet . . . to find a form, (whatever form the muses have given them talent and inspiration with) to express philosophy, and beauty (or even ugliness) in a way to bring evoke certain things from within the observer.

There will always be artists or poets that certain people just "don't get" . . and this is where their translation and expression may be lacking . . . not the artform.

said by Doobah47
Quote:
Poetry is also analogical or continuous because words are concepts, and concepts exist for two purposes, as far as I can tell. First, they organize the flux of qualia. Words divide the world into bite-size mentionable and thinkable pieces. In fact, man as far as he conceptualizes....can only think in pieces. The other purpose of concepts is not the organization of qualia but rather the organization of other concepts. Synthesis and metaphor are one. And this last sentence is what it describes. We can only think in pieces and meaning is transferred by equating or uniting or synthesizing pieces. The essence of a concept is synthesis. Concept is always and only synthesis, including the synthesis with negation. We can say what a thing/concept is not. It seems to me that all abstraction/synthesis is also always negation.


First, mankind may (for the most part) think "in pieces" but it definitely has the capacity to "see the big picture" as well.

I have no idea what "flux of qualia" means (in the slightest), but I believe that words are nothing more than a way to communicate and be able to work together. It was the development of spoken and written language that seems to have been the catalyst for the development of civilization because (let's face it) mankind could not have achieved any technological or social, or intellectual, or (list continues) without language to help us convey ideas and coordinate cooperation between each other . But I think I'm starting to get off topic . . . . .

I think poetry and philosophy help us grow spiritually, and creatively and mold ourselves into the person we vie to become. and to "send light into the darkness of men's hearts" (Schumman)

That's how I view it anyway.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 03:36 pm
@Twilight Siren,
Twilight Siren;140789 wrote:


First, mankind may (for the most part) think "in pieces" but it definitely has the capacity to "see the big picture" as well.

Yes, but this Big Picture is just the master piece. It's still conceived of as singular. And note also that it is a metaphor.

:bigsmile:


---------- Post added 04-07-2010 at 04:42 PM ----------

Twilight Siren;140789 wrote:
actually, pi is always the same value, people just round it off differently.


I know what you mean. But note that as you say, people round it off differently. Can an engineer make any use of pi w/o rounding it off?

It's the same with the number e, which was invented as a limit. (1 + 1/n) to the power of n, as n approaches infinity. As we move into physics units, or currency units, something is left behind. How many pennies get rounded off in the computers of the banks every day?

I'm trying to look beyond the obvious. A number like pi or e can be conceived as an algorithm for the generation of digits. If we want pi to its first 10 billion digits, we have the method, but we may have to wait for the computing power. And then we can aim at pi to the first trillion trillion digits. But why bother, right?
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