The Many Paths to Sophia: Toward a Deeper Philosophical Appreciation of Poetry


  • William A. Welton Kent State University
  • Daniela Elza



poetry, philosophy, education,


Although the argument against poetry may have had its locus classicus in Plato’s Republic, the philosophical qualms against poetry are deeply rooted and are not unique to Plato’s philosophy. We begin by considering the reasons why some philosophers once believed that philosophy was superior to poetry, and then we regard some of these prejudices and how they have been debunked in contemporary philosophy. Our main purpose in this paper is to move beyond this inadequate understanding of poetry to a deeper philosophical appreciation of it.

Keywords: poetry; philosophy; education

Author Biographies

William A. Welton, Kent State University

William A. Welton earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy at Duquesne University in 1993. Between1997-2012, he taught philosophy full-time at the university level (Xavier University from 1997-2002, Loyola University in Maryland from 2002-2012). He is the editor of Plato's Forms: Varieties of Interpretation, the author of articles on Plato in peer-reviewed journals, and the co-author (with Gary Alan Scott) of Erotic Wisdom: Philosophy and Intermediacy in Plato's Symposium.He is also the author of the self-published science fiction/fantasy novel,The Quest for the Pure Child (available as an ebook).He is currently teaching as an adjunct professor for Kent State University and working on a book of essays and a website devoted to Plato.

Daniela Elza

Daniela Elza has lived on three continents and crossed numerous geographic, cultural and semantic borders. Her work has appeared nationally and internationally in over 80 publications. Daniela’s poetry collections are: "the weight of dew" (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2012), "the book of It" (2011) and most recently "milk tooth bane bone" (Leaf Press, 2013) of which David Abram says: “Out of the ache of the present moment, Daniela Elza has crafted something spare and irresistible, an open armature for wonder."  Daniela earned her doctorate in Philosophy of Education from Simon Fraser University and is at present the Writer-In-Residence at the University of the Fraser Valley.