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Aristotle’s Poetics: An Introduction for Objectivists

Robert Mayhew

Presented at: OCON 2013

Date: Jul 05, 2013

Aristotle’s Poetics is one of the seminal works in the history of esthetics, and remarkably close to Ayn Rand’s literary esthetics in essentials. This course is an introduction to the Poetics, with an eye on its similarities to and differences from the Objectivist esthetics. Topics to be covered include: the rationality of art, the nature of plot and characterization. Special attention is given to the “might be and ought to be” principle—which Ayn Rand attributed to Aristotle, and called a “great philosophical principle” and “a key to the literary method of The Fountainhead.” [Note: Much of the material in this course was originally presented in 1997, in “Aristotle: The Father of Romanticism,” though it has been thoroughly revised for this course.]


Parts: 3

Handout: none