Allegory in Early Greek Philosophy” – written by Jennifer Lobo Meeks – examines the role that allegory plays in Greek thought, particularly in the transition from the mythic tradition of the archaic poets to the philosophical traditions of the Presocratics and Plato.

Featured Review:

”At a time when philosophical writing is dominated by literal-mindedness, on the one hand, and 'unmasking,' on the other hand, Jennifer Lobo Meeks takes us back to the poetic origins of philosophy, when allegory preserved the mysterious character of poetic wisdom for the ancient Greek philosophers. Only this preservation of mystery could allow the philosopher to perform the speculative task of articulating the Whole. Beginning with the Presocratics and tracing out the senses of a Presocratic 'poetics,' she takes up the 'ancient quarrel' between philosophy and poetry in Plato, illuminating the use of philosophical myth in the dialogues. This book is not only a reminder of the philosopher’s original task, it helps us to understand the poverty of the present condition of philosophy." – Ann Hartle, Professor Emeritus, Emory University

About the book:

“Allegory in Early Greek Philosophy” explores how a mode of speech that "says one thing, but means another" is integral to philosophy, which otherwise seeks to achieve clarity and precision in its discourse. By providing the early Greek thinkers with a way of defending and appropriating the poetic wisdom of their predecessors, allegory enables philosophy to locate and recover its own origins in the mythic tradition. Allegory allows philosophy simultaneously to move beyond mythos and express the whole in terms of logos, a rational account in which reality is represented in a more abstract and universal way than myth allows.

About the author:

Jennifer Lobo Meeks, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Perimeter College of Georgia State University. She specializes in ancient Greek philosophy and in the history of modern European philosophy.

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