From the Back Cover
The writings of Greek philosopher ARISTOTLE (384BC-322BC)--student of Plato, teacher of Alexander the Great--are among the most influential on Western thought, and indeed upon Western civilization itself. From theology and logic to politics and even biology, there is no area of human knowledge that has not been touched by his thinking. Poetics--one of Aristotle's greatest works--is the philosopher's grand and insightful essay on art and its purposes. Why must a story have a beginning, a middle, and an end? How can we define tragedy, and what is the artistic purpose of it? Is there one "ideal" kind of drama? What is the nature of poetry? How consciously should poets and playwrights construct their work? All these questions, and others, are discussed and debated in this, perhaps the single most significant text in Western critical tradition. Writers, actors, students of literature, and armchair philosophers will find it a challenging--and rewarding--read.
About the Author
Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology. Together with Plato and Socrates (Plato's teacher), Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy. Aristotle's writings were the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality and aesthetics, logic and science, politics and metaphysics. Aristotle's views on the physical sciences profoundly shaped medieval scholarship, and their influence extended well into the Renaissance, although they were ultimately replaced by Newtonian physics. In the zoological sciences, some of his observations were confirmed to be accurate only in the 19th century. His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, which was incorporated in the late 19th century into modern formal logic. In metaphysics, Aristotelianism had a profound influence on philosophical and theological thinking in the Islamic and Jewish traditions in the Middle Ages, and it continues to influence Christian theology, especially the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. His ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent of virtue ethics. All aspects of Aristotle's philosophy continue to be the object of active academic study today. Though Aristotle wrote many elegant treatises and dialogues (Cicero described his literary style as "a river of gold"), it is thought that the majority of his writings are now lost and only about one-third of the original works have survived.
--This text refers to an alternate