Saturday, October 11, 2014

Plato and The Divine Comedy

The "intellectual vision" that is is a concept in the Divine Comedy, "the direct knowledge of God and other realities, such as love, that have neither corporeal shape nor corporeal substance," reminds of Plato's theory of knowledge in some ways. Plato thought that all objects were mere representations of a true or perfect form and that the reality as we know it can be deceiving to what is actually the truth. In a similar way, one of the three ways of knowing, intellectual vision has some similarity to Plato's theory, for intellectual vision requires one to reject corporeal aspects in order to see beyond what we perceive as reality and to know God. I think that it is interesting that the idea of corporeality is often viewed as something inferior and that to attain knowledge, one must search beyond the physical and the body in order to gain true knowledge. I think that this concept can definitely been seen in The Divine Comedy as well as in Plato's theory. This is a concept that seems to come up a lot in literature like in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and I find it fascinating how this idea originates from even the time of Plato.

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