Poetry, Plato, Poison (and Patriarchy!), 21 September

Philosophical Subcategories= AESTHETICS, ETHICS, and POLITICS:
Bees and . . . Poetry, Plato, Poison (and Patriarchy!)

Fact and Fiction of Beekeeping Knowledge
Excerpts from The Bad Beekeepers Club by BBC Correspondent and beekeeper, Bill Turnbull
How a Hive Works
Chapter 10, Bad Beekeeping: a brief history

What is Soul?
(compiled by Peter Tooth)

Preview for Session 3:
Plato’s Art Theory in The Republic

Poetry, Plato, Poison (and Patriarchy!)

Summary of Plato, Poetry, Poison and Patriarchy Group Discussion.

Platonic Poetical Poison and Patriarchy Postscript. Droning on overmuch

Peter Tooth (Hemlockian 34)


4 thoughts on “Poetry, Plato, Poison (and Patriarchy!), 21 September

  1. I get all the part about Plato’s misogyny and downgrading of poetry, but dragging bees into the argument seems a bit contrived. However this maybe just my ignorance of ancient Greek poetry.
    Was there a lot of reference to honey etc? Phrases like ‘land of milk and honey’ which appear in the Bible suggest that there may have been.
    I understand that the Greeks considered the greatest poet of all time to have been a woman,
    Sappho. However none of her work has survived. One wonders why. Patriarchy once again
    I suppose.

    • Yes, Dob, I am afraid it is rather your ignorance of ancient Greek poetry, I am afraid, as the Ancient Greeks were obsessed with bees and honey in terms of lyric and dramatic poetry–long before Plato wrote his sustained diatribes on “female” lazy drone bees in “The Republic”. I have a very detailed scholarly article on the subject of bees and honey as an ongoing metaphor in Ancient Greek poetry and will try to post it or parts of it on the website soon and then you will clearly see what I mean, I think. Failing or in additional to that I will email you directly with some more info if you wish but please check out the section in “The Republic” if you can and have the time on imperfect societies such as oligarchies, democracies, and, above all, tyrannies (Chapter 9?) as this will also help to clarify some or much of what I plan to say in my upcoming Cafe Phil talk on your suggested topic of progress and capitalism that we briefly discussed with Anthony. Finally, I am about to put a second reading list on the website–this time concerned only with books on bees and beekeeping–of books that I have purchased recently from Amazon for the course. Most are very cheap and easily available and all clarify this particular point of bees mythology and bees as a metaphor in philosophy (and poetry)–which is my brief from Luke! Cheers! I enjoyed my visit to you last week and especially the free meal at the restaurant. Thanks!

  2. Let’s not get too hung up on Greek culture in all this. Sure, they introduced ideas of philosophy and an elitist form of democracy (excluding women and slaves) but their society was,at the same time, aggressively macho, militant and imperialist – a model eagerly adopted by Nazi Germany. Greek art and their poetry reflected this being homocentric (if not misogynist) and was largely homoerotic and militarist, Meanwhile Plato and his paedophile pals were having sex with adolescent boys. I feel we must be selective of Greek culture and, while noting its useful contribution in some areas in others (including philosophy) we must think we have moved on. .

    • I agree, as usual, Jack, with you wholeheartedly. Reading back this and your other interesting postings elsewhere, I am glad that I can guarentee you that I will not be talking about the Greeks–and definitely not Plato– next time out with Consciousness, Knowledge and Intelligence {Epistemology}!

      I plan to deal with Nagel and bats and bees and contemporary issues of language and insect abilities and communication–together with a bit of Hegel and Locke and archives and libraries re the bees. Oh yes–and philosophical zombies, of course!

      Looking forward to hearing the postmodernist view from you re Lacan et al!


      Peter (Hemlockian34)

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