Aristotle's definition of anagnorisis

American Journal of Philology 121 (3):367-383 (2000)
I argue for a new construal of Aristotle’s definition of anagnorisis (recognition) in Poetics 11. Virtually all translators and interpreters of the definition have understood the phrase ton pros eutuchian e dustuchian horismenon as a subjective genitive characterizing the persons involved in the recognition. I argue that it should instead be taken as a partitive genitive characterizing the genus of changes (metabolon) of which recognitions are a species. In addition to being preferable on philogical grounds, the construal I recommend helps illuminate the relation between recognition and reversal (peripeteia) and makes sense of Aristotle’s views about the relative values of various kinds of recognition.
Keywords Aristotle  Poetics  recognition
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DOI 10.1353/ajp.2000.0037
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