Poeisis as political educator : Aristotle and the purpose of poeisis
Clouse, Stephen Eugene
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This inquiry into Aristotle's thought focuses on the relationship between the poetic arts and moral education. Specifically, it looks at whether poetry can be used as a means for teaching moral virtue. Aristotle is clear that the arts, broadly speaking, are inferior to virtue. However, the political context of poetry as well as Aristotle's account of katharsis and the relationship between philosophy and poetry seem to indicate that the purpose of poetry may serve an educative function in the life of the city. I argue that while poetry is not moral education, it serves an educative role by facilitating an inquiry into the moral and intellectual virtues and how those virtues relate to the human condition.