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Poetry and Virtue——Plato and Aristotle on Poetry
|Publication Year :||2018|
This thesis proposes to explore Plato’s and Aristotle’s treatments of poetry, which necessarily involves the problem of the relationship between poetry and morality. The reason for this is that poetry is not regarded in ancient Greece as a kind of art, but bears the function of moral education. Since this thesis will cover discussions of the poetics of both these thinkers, comparisons between them will be in order.
In Chapter Two, I will, from the point of view of morality and knowledge, explain why Plato’s criticism of the poets was so severe. However, this criticism does not mean that Plato is completely against poetry; rather, Plato uses his own writings to prove how a kind of philosophical poetry is possible. In the third chapter, I will interpret the ideas which Aristotle in his Poetics puts forward and point out that although Aristotle gives poetry a more positive status and function, it doesn’t mean that poems are pure aesthetic works. On the contrary, poetry plays an important role in the moral education as well. In the fourth chapter, I will at first explain, within Aristotle’s practical philosophy, how the practical wisdom, cultivated through poetry, in turn cultivates moral virtues. Then I will come back to the comparative question, namely why Plato and Aristotle, while both holding that poetry should has a role in moral education, nevertheless exhibit such different attitudes toward it. I will suggest that this is due to their different understandings of virtue. These different understandings imply that not only the substance of virtue, but also the ideal forms of poetry, are different for each philosopher.
|Appears in Collections:||哲學系|
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