Aristotle's claim that natural slaves do not possess autonomous rationality (Pol. 1.5, 1254b20-23) cannot plausibly be interpreted in an unrestricted sense, since this would conflict with what Aristotle knew about non-Greek societies. Aristotle's argument requires only a lack of autonomous practical rationality. An impairment of the capacity for integrated practical deliberation, resulting from an environmentally induced excess or deficiency in thumos (Pol. 7.7, 1327b18-31), would be sufficient to make natural slaves incapable of eudaimonia without being obtrusively implausible relative to what (...) Aristotle is likely to have believed about non-Greeks. Since Aristotle seems to have believed that the existence of people who can be enslaved without injustice is a hypothetical necessity, if those capable oí eudaimonia are to achieve it, the existence of natural slaves has implications for our understanding of Aristotle's natural teleology. (shrink)
Stasis-theory seeks to classify rhetorical problems acccording to the underlying structure of the dispute that each involves. Such a classification is of interest to the practising rhetor, since it may help him identify an appropriate argumentative strategy; for example, patterns of argument appropriate to a question of fact may be irrelevant in an evaluative dispute.
This sentence has long been regarded as problematic; Kirchhoff's emendation is palaeographically simple and has met with general approval, but if ίερά is taken to mean ‘temples’, as is usual, the phrase is not without its difficulties. ỉστασθαι is normally used of inscriptions, statues and trophies rather than buildings; LSJ cite only one instance of the latter usage, Thucydides 1.69.1, and there it might be argued that the Long Walls were not a building as such . Furthermore, it does seem (...) rather pointless to say that individual poor members of the demos are unable to build temples, for that was something that even the richest were unlikely to be able to afford. (shrink)
In this paper I shall approach Hesiod's poetry from two, rather different, directions; consequently, the paper itself falls into two parts, the argument and conclusions of which are largely independent. In I offer some observations on the vexed question of the organisation of Works and Days; that is, my concern is with the coherence of the poem's form and content. In my attention shifts to the function of this poem and of its companion, Theogony; given the form and content of (...) these two poems, what can we plausibly conjecture about the end or ends to which they were composed? In particular, I shall consider whether, and in what sense, these poems may be regarded as didactic in intent. Much of what I have to say in I say with a measure of confidence; in , by contrast, my primary aim is to undermine unwarranted confidence — although I do, even here, reach some positive conclusions. (shrink)
This article explores Aristotle’s understanding of the value of tragedy. The primarily technical analyses of the Poetics are not sufficient for this purpose: they must be read in the context of Aristotle’s philosophical anthropology. An outline of Aristotle’s understanding of the structure of human motivation provides a framework within which to interpret his discussion of the uses of music, and in particular of music’s status as an intrinsically valuable component of cultivated leisure. Applying that model to tragedy requires an explanation (...) of what motivates engagement with drama that evokes distressing affects. Aristotle’s account of musical katharsis, if read with sufficient attention to its structure and interpreted in the light of his analysis of pleasure, provides a solution. If the importance which Aristotle attaches to intrinsically valuable leisure activities is overlooked, it is not possible to understand his conception of a good human life, or his aesthetics. (shrink)
In chapter 9 of the Poetics Aristotle states that poetry is concerned with the universal . In this paper I shall consider three questions arising out of this statement. First, what does it mean? Secondly, what constraints does it impose on the construction of tragic plots ? I shall consider this question with special reference to the possible role of chance in tragedy. Thirdly, why is poetry concerned with the universal – that is, why is poetry such that these constraints (...) are appropriate ? (shrink)