Poetic Knowledge Book Club: Chapter 2, part 1 The Philosophical Foundations


For information and previous posts, see the page for this Poetic Knowledge Book Club

This week we are covering pages 11-27 and next week we will finish chapter two with pages 27-58.

Chapter 2, part 1: The Philosophical Foundations of Poetic Knowledge

Poetic Knowledge was first displayed, described, and commended by Homer, Socrates, and Aristotle.

Poetic Knowledge

  • sees poetic, transcendent significance of reality; its opposite, in this case, is materialism.
  • embraces contemplation, meditation, and leisure rather than effort, work, labor, and proofs; hence, the poetic mode requires leisure.
  • awakens and refines sympathetic understanding of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty by going inside a thing to know it, not only to duplicate it, but to become it.
  • is a prerational mode of knowledge; it precedes but does not supercede scientific knowledge. If scientific knowledge is not preceded by poetic knowledge, the scientific mode will dehumanize and deconstruct culture and individuals.
    • gains understanding through vicarious means and through intuition.
  • could also be called musical knowledge; that is, knowledge that seeks harmony, proportion, perception, emotion.
  • desires the whole and existential rather than the particular and disintegrated.
  • begins with wonder.

Poetic Knowledge should be the starting point for education.

Elements of a poetic education are

  • fictional stories (myths, legends, fairy tales)
  • history stories
  • poetry, music, and art
  • gymnastics
  • reading & writing
  • drawing
  • a desire to know springing from wonder and delight

Your Thoughts

I am hoping for lots of discussion on the concept of wonder. :)

Discussion Question

How does the element of gymnastics find a place in your education?