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Ontology and the Art of Tragedy

An Approach to Aristotle's Poetics

Martha Husain

Publication Year: 2001

Ontology and the Art of Tragedy is a sustained reflection on the principles and criteria from which to guide one’s approach to Aristotle’s Poetics. Its scope is twofold: historical and systematic. In its historical aspect it develops an approach to Aristotle’s Poetics, which brings his distinctive philosophy of being to bear on the reception of this text. In its systematic aspect it relates Aristotle’s theory of art to the perennial desiderata of any theory of art, and particularly to Kandinsky’s.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright

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CONTENTS

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pp. v-vi

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PREFACE

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pp. vii-ix

The idea from which this study developed was suggested by my sister, Herta Schmid of the University of Berlin, in 1987. The Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst supported it by a grant in 1988/89. Its final form took shape during a delightful sabbatical stay as a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University in 1997. ...

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-5

This study is not a new translation nor primarily a new exegesis of the Poetics but a sustained reflection on the principles and criteria that should guide an approach to this text. It aims at developing a canon for establishment, translation, and exegesis of the text. Since these three aspects of its reception are interconnected rather than neatly sequential, all three must be guided by the same principles and criteria. ...

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Chapter 1: APPROACH TO THE CORPUS AS A WHOLE

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pp. 7-16

One's approach to any individual treatise presupposes an approach to the corpus as a whole, which should be made clear at the beginning. For scholars have understood Aristotle's works, and so have understood what "Aristotelian" means, in different ways. The three main approaches have been the systematic, the chronological, and the aporetic. The systematic approach holds that all parts of the whole stand in ascertainable ...

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Chapter 2: APPROACH TO THE POETICS

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pp. 17-34

My approach to the Poetics rests on the three beliefs that the above pervasive conceptual constants apply to it, that it is an individual Aristotelian treatise, and that it has a particular location within the corpus. No argument has been given by any scholar that Aristotle's distinctive understanding of being does not apply to this text, and there are indications of the use of all the constants in it. ...

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Chapter 3: LEVELS WITHIN THE POETICS

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pp. 35-77

My approach to the Poetics has been a gradual narrowing down from the corpus as a whole to its own subject matter and location. This, I believe, accords with Aristotle's normal procedure. But the narrowing down must not be understood merely quantitatively. Each level of generality contains features that pertain to the being of a tragedy. That being can be understood fully and clearly only when each feature is traced to its proper ...

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Chapter 4: AGENT-CENTERING, PATIENT-CENTERING,OBJECT-CENTERING

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pp. 79-100

The central aporia, which arises for Aristotle's theory of art ex Aristotele has so far been elucidated from the Poetics, and Halliwell has diagnosed its main danger: mimesis 2 may wear too thin to bear the generic definitory burden which Aristotle places on it. The parameters set by the liberties art may not take with its objects of imitation may not suffice to contain the liberties that it may and must take within a recognizable similarity ...

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CONCLUSION

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pp. 101-109

The approach of this study has been an attempt to understand the Poetics ex Aristotele by gradual adumbration from ever narrowing parameters of Aristotelian philosophy. As noted, such an adumbration requires choices and hence is debatable at every level. Ex Aristotele, the study's heuristic principle, is never accessible uncontroversially. But neither is it ever dispensable ...

APPENDIX: TEXTUAL EVIDENCE

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pp. 111-116

NOTES

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pp. 117-133

REFERENCES

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pp. 135-138

INDEX OF NAMES

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pp. 139-140

SUBJECT INDEX

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pp. 141-149

INDEX OF PASSAGES CITED

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pp. 151-152


E-ISBN-13: 9780791489796
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791451434
Print-ISBN-10: 0791451437

Page Count: 162
Publication Year: 2001

Series Title: SUNY series in Ancient Greek Philosophy
Series Editor Byline: Anthony Preus