Poetry of Philosophy, The

978-1-890318-62-8
Paper $19
203 pages, 6" x 9", intro., notes, bibliography, index

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Poetry of Philosophy, The

On Aristotle's Poetics

Davis, Michael

Although Aristotle’s Poetics is the most frequently read of his works, philosophers and political theorists have, for the most part, left analysis of the text to literary critics and classicists. In this book Michael Davis argues convincingly that in addition to teaching us something about poetry, Poetics contains an understanding of the common structure of human action and human thought that connects it to Aristotle’s other writings on politics and morality. Davis demonstrates that the duality of Poetics reaches out to the philosopher, writer, and political theorist and shows the importance of the ideal in our imaginings of and goals for the future.

“How is Aristotle’s suggestion in the Poetics that human beings are distinguished by their imitative faculties related to his better known definition of ‘man’ as a rational or political animal? In the course of a careful commentary on the Greek text, Michael Davis provides a highly original, thought-provoking answer.” – Catherine Zuckert, University of Notre Dame

“Michael Davis’s study of Aristotle’s Poetics moves with great wit and subtlety from the stand-up comic to Oedipus, from politics to metaphor, from the commonplace to the profound. Revealing what is wonderful and strange in familiar notions of poetry and tragedy, and explaining what is baffling in Aristotle’s text, Davis provides an interpretation worthy of the Philosopher himself.” – Mary P. Nichols, Fordham University