This volume integrates aspects of the Poetics into the broader corpus of Aristotelian philosophy. It both deals with some old problems raised by the treatise, suggesting possible solutions through contextualization, and also identifies new ways in which poetic concepts could relate to Aristotelian philosophy.

In the past, contextualization has most commonly been used by scholars in order to try to solve the meaning of difficult concepts in the Poetics (such as catharsis, mimesis, or tragic pleasure). In this volume, rather than looking to explain a specific concept, the contributors observe the concatenation of Aristotelian ideas in various treatises in order to explore some aesthetic, moral and political implications of the philosopher’s views of tragedy, comedy and related genres. Questions addressed include: Does Aristotle see his interest in drama as part of his larger research on human natures? What are the implications of tragic plots dealing with close family members for the polis? What should be the role of drama and music in the education of citizens? How does dramatic poetry relate to other arts and what are the ethical ramifications of the connections? How specific are certain emotions to literary genres and how do those connect to Aristotle’s extended account of pathe? Finally, how do internal elements of composition and language in poetry relate to other domains of Aristotelian thought?

The Poetics in its Aristotelian Context offers a fascinating new insight to the Poetics, and will be of use to anyone working on the Poetics, or Aristotelian philosophy more broadly.

chapter |13 pages


part 1|96 pages

Aristotle’s aesthetics

chapter 1|17 pages

Poetry and biology

The anatomy of tragedy

chapter 3|15 pages

Aesthetic emotions

chapter 4|22 pages

Was phthonos a comedic emotion for Aristotle?

On the pleasure and moral psychology of laughter

chapter 5|23 pages

Painting as an aesthetic paradigm

part 2|71 pages

Poetics, politics, and ethics

chapter 8|20 pages

Varieties of characters

The better, the worse, and the like

chapter 9|17 pages

The ethical context of Poetics 5

Comic error and lack of self-control

part 3|56 pages

Language and content

chapter 10|17 pages

Taxonomic flexibility

Metaphor, genos, and eidos

chapter 11|22 pages

Poetry and historia

chapter 12|15 pages

Reading the Poetics in context