In this lecture for EAWLC.org I discuss Aristotle’s Poetics and Rhetoric. Some themes in this lecture are the use of poetry to define what it means to be human, whether or not rhetoric/persuasion is "good" for us, why Aristotle finds it important to talk about dialectic (dialogue) in order to define rhetoric, whether or not poetry is really "mimetic" (imitative of life), and how useful this idea of poetry-as-mimesis can be to us today. I mention ethos, pathos and logos, and how Aristotle attempts to separate his method of rhetoric from Plato's anti-rhetoric stance. At several points I mention Sophocles and Oedipus Rex as examples for Aristotle's theory of tragedy. Poetry is interpreted very broadly (as being the source of all sorts of modern artforms, including pop songs, movies, novels, and essays). The lecture was given in July 2021. A transcript is available from EAWLC.org.
August 27, 2021