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Author: PIERRE DESTREE

In this article, I oppose ‘cognitivist’ interpretations of Aristotle’s Poetics (Belfiore, Donini, Gallop, Halliwell, Wolff) which defend the idea that the pleasure proper to tragedy is a pleasure of an intellectual nature, and I defend an ‘emotivist’ interpretation according to which this pleasure is essentially of an emotional nature. I pass in review the passages of chapters 4, 9, 14 and 26 wherein the question of the ‘pleasure proper’ to tragedy is dealt with, in comparing them with what Aristotle tells us about musical pleasure in Politics VIII.

In: Méthexis
Author: Pierre Destrée

Abstract

présente étude propose une interprétation de EN , V, 10, en défendant deux premièrement que la notion centrale de la variabilité du droit naturel e la diversité des interprétations que l'on peut donner d'un sentiment communément partagé du juste ou de l'injuste (cf. Rhét., I, 13); deuxièmement que, échapper au relativisme de type protagoréen, Aristote défend l'idée d'un parfait qui seul peut fournir la meilleure interprétation de ce sentiment.

In: Phronesis
In: Plato and Myth
In: Akrasia in Greek Philosophy
Author: Pierre Destrée

In Pol. 8, we find two rather different threefold divisions of the aims, or usages, of music. At the very beginning of his analysis, Aristotle first lists (1339a11-26): amusement and relaxation; moral education; leisure . Strikingly enough though, when it comes up again at the end of the treatise on musical education, this threefold division has undergone a few remarkable changes. Now, the division comes up between moral education, emotional purgation/purification, and “thirdly”, Aristotle says, “leisure, rest and relaxation of one’s tensions (τρίτον δὲ πρὸς διαγωγὴν πρὸς ἄνεσίν τε καὶ πρὸς τὴν τῆς συντονίας ἀνάπαυσιν)” (1341b36-41). The main difficulty that this new enumeration creates is notable: how to explain that now the third aim of music seems to consist in the ensemble of leisure, repose and relaxation, while leisure and relaxation were first introduced as two distinct aims? I argue that πρὸς διαγωγὴν should be best considered a gloss.

In: Greek and Roman Musical Studies
Author: Pierre Destrée

Against the almost undisputed communis opinio among interpreters of the Poetics, I argue that spectacle in general, and music in particular are of crucial importance in Aristotle’s conception of tragedy. In enhancing the spectators’ emotions of pity and fear, music (i.e. aulos music) contributes to obtaining the pleasure ‘proper’ to tragedy which, as Aristotle says, “comes from pity and fear through mimesis”.

In: Greek and Roman Musical Studies
Discussions on akrasia (lack of control, or weakness of will) in Greek philosophy have been particularily vivid and intense for the past two decades. Standard stories that presented Socrates as the philosopher who simply denied the phenomenon, and Plato and Aristotle as rehabilitating it straightforwardly against Socrates, have been challenged in many different ways. Building on those challenges, this collective provides new, and in some cases opposed ways of reading well-known as well as more neglected texts. Its 13 contributions, written by experts in the field, cover the whole history of Greek ethics, from Socrates to Plotinus, through Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics (Cleanthes, Chrysippus, Epictetus).
In: Akrasia in Greek Philosophy
In: Akrasia in Greek Philosophy