A Cognitive Interpretation of Aristotle’s Concepts of Catharsis and Tragic Pleasure

International Journal of Art and Art History 2 (2) (2014)
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Abstract

Jonathan Lear argues that the established purgation, purification, and cognitive stimulation interpretations of Aristotle’s concepts of catharsis and tragic pleasure are off the mark. In response, Lear defends an anti-cognitivist account, arguing that it is the pleasure associated with imaginatively “living life to the full” and yet hazarding nothing of importance that captures Aristotle’s understanding of catharsis and tragic pleasure. This analysis reveals that Aristotle’s account of imagination in conjunction with his understanding of both specific intellectual virtues and rational emotions of an educated citizen not only tells against Lear’s anti-cognitivist construal, but also divulges an alternative cognitive stimulation reading.

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Mahesh Ananth
Indiana University South Bend

Citations of this work

Is Empathy an Emotion?Isaura Peddis - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham

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References found in this work

Katharsis.Jonathan Lear - 1988 - Phronesis 33 (1):297-326.
Pleasure, Tragedy and Aristotelian Psychology.Elizabeth Belfiore - 1985 - Classical Quarterly 35 (02):349-.
Pleasure, Tragedy and Aristotelian Psychology.Elizabeth Belfiore - 1985 - Classical Quarterly 35 (2):349-361.
"Hamartia, Ate", and Oedipus.Leon Golden - 1978 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 72 (1):3.

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