Socrates and Ions Discussion About Differences Between Philosophy and Inspiration (Essay Sample)


The beauty of learning philosophy is learning the ability to know everything, and when 

you know everything you find the real meaning of the world around you. The Ion is similar to understanding the philosophy of things, a lot of people believe that knowing one thing is the equivalent of knowing a lot of things. Ion is just like one of those people, he has gotten attached to one person and he cannot stop thinking of him so he decides to ask Socrates, a man of true philosophy, for the reason for this happening. Socrates then proceeds to tell Ion in the simplest way possible that knowing someone famous is an inspiration and not a belief.  As Ion begins to understand, he is blown away by the words of Socrates and blesses Socrates for his advice. Socrates in the excerpt from the Ion proves that being possessed is not a talent but rather an inspiration from the gods. 

Inspiration comes from anywhere, whether it is music or whether it is a simple picture but whatever the case may be this motivates you to feel the same. According to Socrates, “For all good poets, epic as well as lyric, compose their beautiful poems not by art, but because they are inspired and possessed.” Socrates' point is that poets who compose beautiful poems are not because they felt like it but because they were inspired and possessed by the work before them so they want to make the same and inspire others along the way. Almost everything we view is an inspiration and that inspiration plays a role in our lives, the more we view and think about this inspiration the more we start to  slowly become possessed by them. Ion is a perfect example of someone who is inspired and possessed, he viewed one work of Homer that inspired him and since then he slowly began to follow Homer’s direction to the point where he is obsessed with him. All Ion talks about is Homer and how amazing Homer is, and that is a natural part of being inspired but this type of inspiration should not be considered a talent. Inspiration is all around us and that is what gives us ideas for whatever it is that needs to be done, inspiration is handed by god and that is what helps us move forward.

Understanding the concepts of philosophy can be complex and misused, life around us has a lot of questions that keep us thinking but a true philosopher knows answers to everything just like the discussion Socrates and Ion had. In Socrates' view, “Had he learned by the rules of art, he would have known how to speak not of one theme only, but of all.” Basically, Socrates is saying that the rule of art mentioned is philosophy, if a man knows philosophy then he would know everything and not one thing only but in Ion’s case he only knows one thing and that is talking about Homer. Philosophy and inspiration are two different concepts, philosophy is full of learning how the world works and why everything exists while inspiration is learning about one thing and staying focused on that one part. If a person is inspired and possessed of one thing this does not mean that he is a philosopher this means that they only know so much about one thing it is an obsession. Ion can share a lot of information about Homer like his incredible poems or works while Socrates knows everything about poetry and art, the difference here is that Socrates is a philosopher and Ion is a person who is inspired. The only way we do not confuse philosophy and inspiration is if we can understand how much of a topic we know more about and if we know one thing only that is an inspiration given to us by the gods to learn more philosophy from the gods.

When a person talks about a famous figure, they are always mentioning how their work made them feel or made them want to create something similar to theirs because that famous figure inspired them with his work. Socrates states, “The gift which you possess of speaking excellently about Homer is not an art, but, as I was saying, an inspiration.” The art that is mentioned in this quote resembles philosophy because philosophy is art, Socrates explains here that the gift Ion has of speaking about Homer does not have to do with anything about philosophy but rather it has to do with inspiration. Ion is confused if he is talking about Homer in a philosophical sense or in an inspirational sense, Socrates explains that speaking excellently about someone is not art or wisdom but it is more of showing how much inspiration that man has given you that you still remember every little detail. Socrates explains to Ion that what he possesses is an inspiration and not some kind of art, after a few times of explaining this and going deeper into context Ion begins to understand exactly what Socrates is saying. The reason for Ion talking about Homer excellently is because Homer inspired Ion to be just like him through his work, Ion views Homer as a role model for himself up to the point where he wants to be like Homer. Having a famous figure as your inspiration motivates you to be just like them, that inspiration will keep living in you until you start to lose that inspiration and become an inspiration to others.

In other words, a philosopher knows everything about life itself which is why they are wise, being possessed/inspired only means that you know one theme only and that is the only theme that motivates you. If a person knows all the themes then he is considered a philosopher which is an amazing talent and starts inspiring people like how Homer inspired Ion. The message in this story is that everything around you is an inspiration, even people who inspire you have been inspired by other people in the past, philosophy comes from the gods and the gods are the ones who give everyone inspiration. Possession is not a talent but it is more of an inspiration from the gods, the gods have given you inspiration so you can find someone who motivates you to do better in your life and to keep you going, without the inspiration from the gods we would all be different and have no one to inspire us rather than possessing us.

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