Lawrence Hatab
Old Dominion University
Aristotle’s Poetics defends the value of tragic poetry, presumably to counter Plato’s critique in the Republic. Can this defense resonate with something larger and rather surprising, that Aristotle’s overall philosophy displays a tragic character? I define the tragic as pertaining to indigenous and inescapable limits on life, knowledge, control, achievement, and agency. I explore how such limits figure in Aristotle’s physics, metaphysics, and biological works. Accordingly I want to disturb the common account of Aristotle’s thought as a neat system of ontological order and metaphysical closure—not to exclude such elements but to place them within a world-view that includes certain limits at the edges of being.
Keywords Ancient Philosophy  Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Aristotle  tragedy
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ISBN(s) 1085-1968
DOI 10.5840/epoche20151235
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