No próximo dia 6 de Junho (6ª feira) pelas 15h, irá decorrer na sala 312 (Torre A, 3º Piso) a décima-segunda sessão do Seminário Permanente do IFL Linguagem, Formas de Vida e Consciência, com a apresentação de Humberto Brito, numa sessão intitulada “Unified Descriptions”.
Abstract: Aristotle’s Poetics has been described over the centuries as an insightful treatise on literature. Despite the many differences amongst commentators since the Renaissance, there seems to have always been a large agreement regarding its conceptual significance. Traditionally, authors agree that the Poetics offers a theory of poetic mimesis, according to which tragedies exemplify a sort of literary paradigm the utility of which would rest, for Aristotle, on some ameliorative end at a communitarian level.
While the dissent concerning such theory of poetic mimesis seems to have stabilized in the last five decades, qualifications regarding the nature of this end vary according to different ways of describing the meaning of tragic catharsis. Nevertheless, however dressed by Aristotelian moral vocabulary they may usually arrive, nearly all of the traditional descriptions on this regard seem ultimately irreconcilable with Aristotle’s ethical thinking, as Jonathan Lear perceptively showed in Katharsis (1992).
Perhaps for historical reasons, commentators have been typically trying to answer a platonic question (e.g. ‘What is the ethical benefit of literature?’). We should then try to understand what kind of interest Aristotle could have had on a particular form of art – on a particular narrative technique – regardless of its putative ulterior benefit. Our claim is that such interest in poetry connected with tragic poets’ descriptions of human action being significantly analogous to Aristotle’s own descriptions of virtues. This may help to clarify Aristotle’s need to explain why people agree on descriptions of possibilities independently of facts. It will be argued that this philosophical interest is to be found not only in the Poetics and the Nichomachean Ethics, but also on other Aristotelian contexts, such as Metaphysics, Rhetoric or Problemata. Finally, our discussion will focus the Aristotelian concepts of anagnorisis, mythos, and ethos, and on the difference between poetry and history.