Javiera

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Javiera’s Response
to Ion
Summary
of Platoэs Ion
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Ion comments to Socrates on his excellence as
a rhapsode, proven when interpreting Homer and wonders why this is so and
why he „falls asleep“ during other poetsэ works. Socrates answers
that
Ion speaks without art; for had he art
, he
would be able to interpret equally well many poets, since poetry is a whole,
proven by various poets speaking the same themes.н
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Socrates then compares the rhapsode to an iron
ring in a chain suspended from a magnetic stone The magnetic force is divine
inspiration passed through the interpreter, who is the poet, to the rhapsode,
who is the „interpreter of interpreters“, and finally to the spectator,
whose empathetic responses to the rhapsode are the result of the passing
inspiring current directed from the Muse.н
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Socrates tells Ion that he is possessed by Homer
as Homer was by the Muse
. „You praise Homer
not by art but by divine inspiration.“ Ion responds by saying that this
occurs sometimes and surely he is not always
„possessed“
by Homer
when interpreting the entirety of
his poetry. Socrates responds by explaining that due to lack of knowledge
he cannot interpret certain parts of Homer,

since the rhapsode ought to interpret the mind of the poet, what he means
.
There are trades mentioned in Homerэs work that Ion has no experience in.
Socrates holds that direct experience in certain trades is necessary for
interpretation. Socratesэ logical argument is carried through many instances
where this is true with Ion, as he does not „know“ the trades of driving
or of a physician, but his logic halts when coming across specific individual
traits of Ion. In this case his logic is interrupted upon

discovering
that Ion is both good rhapsode
and general.н
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Since Ion is both of these, he cannot find difference
between them
. This is not the case for every
rhapsode or general and the explanation for exceptions in logical arguments
remains lacking in this dialogue, terminating with tension removed from
the discussion as the subject turns toward Socrates inviting Ion to become
a general for Athens.

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