Education in the Virtues: Tragic Emotions and the Artistic Imagination

The Journal of Aesthetic Education, Volume 43, Number 4, pp. 9-31 .

 By Derek L Penwell

The profoundly thoughtful—not to mention extensive—character of the scholarship historically applied to the nature of the difference between Plato and Aristotle on the issue of the tragic emotions raises the obvious question: What new is there left to say? In this article I seek to hold together two separate issues that have occupied much of the scholarship on this topic but that typically have not been considered together: (1) What is the moral value of the tragic emotions? and (2) If the tragic emotions are morally significant, how can we engage tragedy without viewing it instrumentally? By approaching the tragic emotions in this way, I hope to suggest an Aristotelian analysis of tragedy that appreciates tragedy's ability to expand our resources for confronting an often chaotic world, while at the same time avoiding the notion of art as merely useful in the pursuit of larger moral projects.

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(Something interesting I found)Posted: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 by cait
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