Tragedy - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Tragedy and Emotion

The second major strand in the history of the philosophy of tragedy is represented in Plato's discussion of the epistemic credentials of tragic poetry, so to speak, where he argued that the tragedian has neither knowledge nor true belief concerning that of which he writes, and (hence) that tragedy cannot be a source of knowledge. Plato's target here is the view that "the tragedians … are masters of all forms of skill, and know all about human excellence and defect and about religion" (1987, 598d-e), or more broadly the thought that tragedy's distinctiveness has to do with its capacity to prompt, and to suggest authoritative answers to, questions of a distinctively ethical sort. Despite Plato's efforts, the appeal of this line of thought survived his critique, not least due to the support that some found for it in Aristotle's claim that "poetry is...

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This section contains 3,529 words
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Tragedy from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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