David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Comparative and Continental Philosophy 2 (2):157-177 (2011)
In this essay I begin with Aristotle’s perplexing observation that a tragic drama is a “whole,” one identified by a clear beginning, middle and ending. I pause to wonder how Aristotle imagines such ends, given his contention that a play concludes in such a way that “nothing can follow from it.” On the face of it, it is very difficult to imagine what Aristotle has in mind here. I suggest that one clue may be found in his title, Poetics, with its clear suggestion that a dramatic event is in fact a making, a poiesis. I develop this idea to suggest that the end of a story, any story, tends to be something the reader imposes, often in the interest of generating a specific moral. I then display these readerly dynamics by providing a close reading of the famous story from Genesis, concerning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. I explore a number of different ways in which this story may be thought to “end,” as well as the implications of each such ending
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References found in this work BETA
Aristotle (2012). Nicomachean Ethics. Courier Dover Publications.
Martha Craven Nussbaum (2001). The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
Jeffrey Stout (2005). Democracy and Tradition. Princeton University Press.
Aristotle (1998). Nicomachean Ethics. Dover Publications.
Frank Kermode (1967). The Sense of an Ending. New York, Oxford University Press.
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