Review of The Bow and the Lyre: A Platonic Reading of the Odyssey

Martin Sitte, Review of The Bow and the Lyre: A Platonic Reading of The OdysseyThe Review of Metaphsysics, Vol. 51, no. 4 (1998): 911-913.

Benardete’s book investigates the possibility that the Socratic turn in philosophy, that which enabled philosophy to inquire into the human and the political, had been anticipated by and perhaps learned from the poets. Benardete asks in particular whether Homer had not fully understood the peculiar character of that indirection which, accourding ot the “second sailing” of the Phaedo, is needed for access to truth. He reminds us that according to Socrates’ second speech in Phaedrus, the ascent to the beings always requires the detour through “the fiction of the Olympian gods.” The book is intended to initiate us into Homeric dialectic.