Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Aristotle and the Poetics: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Aristotle and the Poetics

1st Edition

By Angela Curran


338 pages

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Aristotle’s Poetics is the first philosophical account of an art form and the foundational text in aesthetics. The Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Aristotle and the Poetics is an accessible guide to this often dense and cryptic work. Angela Curran introduces and assesses:

  • Aristotle’s life and the background to the Poetics
  • the ideas and text of the Poetics
  • the continuing importance of Aristotle’s work to philosophy today.


'Angela Curran's Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Aristotle and the Poetics is as complete an introduction to this foundational text as one might wish. Curran outlines the book with great clarity, situates it within Aristotle's corpus, explores interpretative debates about key issues, like catharsis, and connects Aristotle's views to contemporary debates in aesthetics. But not only does Curran report on current debates, she enters them with originality and insight. Thus, not only is this excellent book perfect for undergraduate and graduate students, but for experts as well.' - Noel Carroll, Graduate Center, CUNY, USA

'Overall, Curran has written a very fine, scrupulous guide to Aristotle's Poetics. Her reading of the text is close, and her familiarity with the scholarship is evident from lengthy works cited and recommended reading lists at the end of each chapter. Curran's guidebook will prove a valuable supplement to courses that, either in part or in whole, take up Poetics. Scholars specializing in Aristotle, philosophy of art, or classics will also want to have Curran's erudite text at their disposal.' - CHOICE

Table of Contents

1. Aristotle’s Life and Writings 2. Grounding Principles and Concepts 3. Differentiating the Imitative Arts 4. The Pleasures in Imitations 5. Tragedy Defined 6. The Six Elements of Poetic Composition 7. Philosophy, Poetry and Knowledge 8. The Tragic Emotions, Plot Elements and Patterns 9. Catharsis 10. Comedy and Epic 11. The Distinctive Pleasure of Tragedy 12. The Poetics and Contemporary Aesthetics 13. Conclusion. Index

About the Author

Angela Curran is a Faculty Fellow in Philosophy at Colby College, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Philosophy GuideBooks

Routledge Philosophy GuideBooks painlessly introduce students to the classic works of philosophy. Each GuideBook considers a major philosopher and a key area of their philosophy by focusing upon an important text – situating the philosopher and the work in a historical context, considering the text in question and assessing the philosopher’s contribution to contemporary thought.

Edited by Tim Crane, University of Cambridge and Jonathan Wolff, University College London

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Movements / General