Inspiration and Technē : Divination in Plato’s Ion
In Plato’s Ion, inspiration functions in contradistinction to technē. Yet, paradoxically, in both cases, there is an appeal to divination. I interrogate this in order to show how these two disparate accounts can be accommodated. Specifically, I argue that Socrates’ appeal to Theoclymenus at Ion 539a-b demonstrates that Plato recognizes the existence of intuitive seers who defy his own distinction between possession and technical divination. Such seers provide an epistemic model for Ion; that he does not notice this confirms he is not an exemplary rhapsode.
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