Ancient Philosophical Poetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Pp.vii+195. isbn hb 9780521198790, pb 9780521168687. This book is in a series ‘Key Themes in Ancient Philosophy’, ‘designed for use in a teaching context’, and the author notes in his preface that he has used the material in a course entitled ‘Should we ban Homer?’ Anyone devising such a course, or writing such a book, has to take difficult decisions about what to include and how to approach the material. As Heath notes in his Introduction, selectivity is unavoidable: clearly, Plato and Aristotle ‘select themselves’, as H. says (p. 2), but deciding how much pre-Platonic material to include and which post-Aristotelian thinkers to discuss is much harder. Thought needs to be given also to which themes to focus on. Here H. is less explicit about his selection: his concentration on the Platonic tradition in the latter, post-Aristotelian part of the book leads him to concentrate on the relationship between poetry and truth but his chapter on Aristotle pays less attention to this issue than the rest of the book might lead one to expect. A book which focused, for example, on ancient discussions of the effect of poetry on the
International Journal of the Platonic Tradition – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1
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