1st Edition

Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Aristotle and the Poetics

ISBN 9780415780094
Published October 16, 2015 by Routledge
356 Pages

USD $39.95

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Book Description

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.

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

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


'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