chapter  9
18 Pages

Creative Methods: Oracles, Poiesis and Epiphanies as Metaphors of Theorizing

ByKieran Keohane

This chapter discusses the origins, the etymology and usages of 'method and 'theory' in Ancient Greece in the practices of making pilgrimages to Oracles, paradigmatically the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. From these primordial wellsprings it draws a red thread linking Classical and contemporary methodic practices in modern social theory (Durkheim and Weber) and literature. The chapter shows that the perennial and perpetually recurring sources of creative methods in terms of attempts to grasp transcendental meaningful ideas from enigmatic and epiphanic phenomena and to and expresses these ideas in poetic form. It collects some of the ideas outlined by returning to a theme raised at the beginning, namely, the deep affinity between method, theory and poetry; an affinity exemplified in the creative art and life of James Joyce. Hannah Arendt helps us trace the continuity of Weber and Durkheim from Socrates methods of dialegesthi and maieutic.