Poietical Subjects in Heidegger, Kristeva, and Aristotle

Prompted by Eryximachus’ speech about the relationship between Eros and health in Plato’s Symposium, this paper engages the nature of poiēsis as it arises in the works of Martin Heidegger, Julia Kristeva, and Aristotle. All three address poiēsis as a human activity that points beyond an individual person, and in so doing speaks to what’s possible for human life. Section I addresses Heidegger, whose insistance on the interplay between “earth” and “world” in “The Origin of a Work of Art” speaks to a continuous strife at the heart of poiēsis. Section II explains Kristeva’s situating of rhythm as the unarticulated undulation driving human life, grounding any subsequent articulation in poiēsis. Section III engages Aristotle, who, in his Poetics, opens his discussion of poiēsis and mimesis through rhythmos. All do so, I submit, with catharsis—itself a kind of love and health—in view. This catharsis is seen through an affirmation of poietic possibility in art (Heidegger), the practice of the speaking subject (Kristeva), and tragedy (Aristotle)
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DOI 10.1558/ccp.v2i1.63
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Aristotle (2012). Nicomachean Ethics. Courier Dover Publications.
Martin Heidegger (1972). Poetry, Language, Thought. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 31 (1):117-123.
Aristotle (1960). Metaphysics. Univ of Michigan Pr.

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