In reference to Western Civilization was there a clash of values between Homer and Plato? If so, what were they?

Expert Answers info

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

When Plato writes that "there is an old quarrel between philosophy and poetry," it accentuates that a difference in world view that exists between both.  For Plato, this difference in cosmology is where a clash lies.  Both view consciousness differently.  Through Socrates, Plato argues that the poet like Homer does not fully articulate a proper basis for being in the world.  Socrates is through in his rejection of a tragic condition of man.  For Socrates, human essence should be focused on living life in accordance to the ideal, or the form. This is where consciousness is driven and human efforts to appropriate the good, the true, and the beautiful as part of their being in the world removes any notion of tragedy .  It is in this light where Socratic ideas lead to a comic and unifying form of being. Where Plato sees Homer as wrong is because of the tragic conception of human consciousness that is such a part of his work.  While Socrates reject tragic conditions, Homer sees nothing...

(The entire section contains 596 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial