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Plato on Tragic and Comic Pleasures

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Abstract

A recurring theme in Plato’s critique of poetry is the pleasures it affords. Poetry’s pleasures allow poets, little by little, to instil values in the soul of their audience — that is, the values which their protagonists represent. In Plato’s view, these are very often morally degraded values. At the same time, Plato holds that we need poetry in order to impersonate the right values and to develop the best moral attitudes and habits. Thus, he recommends an ‘austere’ poetry for pedagogical purposes, and outlines a programme of censorship for poetry that meets these quite demanding ‘austerity standards’.

Keywords

  • Virtuous Person
  • Good People
  • Irrational Part
  • Epic Poetry
  • Appetitive Desire

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© 2012 Pierre Destrée

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Destrée, P. (2012). Plato on Tragic and Comic Pleasures. In: Denham, A.E. (eds) Plato on Art and Beauty. Philosophers in Depth. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230368187_7

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