Analytic Philosophy, the Ancient Philosopher Poets and the Poetics of Analytic Philosophy

Rhizomata 8 (2):158-182 (2021)
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The paper starts with reflections on Plato’s critique of the poets and the preference many express for Aristotle’s view of poetry. The second part of the paper takes a case study of analytic treatments of ancient philosophy, including the ancient philosopher poets, to examine the poetics of analytic philosophy, diagnosing a preference in Analytic philosophy for a clean non-poetic style of presentation, and then develops this in considering how well historians of philosophy in the Analytic tradition can accommodate the contributions of philosophers who wrote in verse. The final part of the paper reviews the current enthusiasm for decoding Empedocles’ vague and poetic descriptions of the cosmic cycle into a precise scientific periodicity on the basis of the recently discovered Byzantine scholia on Aristotle. I argue that this enthusiasm speaks to a desire for definite and clear numerical values in place of poetic motifs of give and take, and that this mathematical and scientific poetic is comparable to the preferred poetic of analytic philosophy.



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Catherine Joanna Rowett
University of East Anglia

References found in this work

Upheavals of Thought.Martha Nussbaum - 2001 - Journal of Religious Ethics 31 (2):325-341.
The Fragility of Goodness.Martha Nussbaum - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (7):376-383.
The Sovereignty of Good.Iris Murdoch - 1970 - New York,: Routledge.
Upheavals of Thought. The Intelligence of Emotions.Martha C. Nussbaum - 2003 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 65 (1):174-175.

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