Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Gadamer I 134
Tragedy/Aristotle/Gadamer: In his famous definition of tragedy, Aristotle gave the decisive hint for the problem of the aesthetic (...) by including the effect on the audience in the definition of tragedy.
(...) the mere fact that the audience is included in the definition of the tragedy makes clear what (...) was said about the essential belonging
Gadamer I 135
of the viewer to the game. >Play/Gadamer.
Gadamer: Tragedy is the unity of a tragic sequence of events, which is experienced as such. But what is experienced as a tragic course of events, even if it is not a play that is shown on stage, but a tragedy in "life", is a closed circle of meaning that of itself refuses any intrusion and intervention in it. What is understood as tragic can only be accepted. In this respect it is indeed a basic phenomenon.
Presentation/Tragedy/Aristotle: The presentation works through eleos and phobos. The traditional translation of these affects by "compassion" and "fear" suggests a far too subjective tone. Aristotle does not define these concepts at all as compassion or even the changing value of compassion(1) over the centuries, likewise fear is not to be understood as a state of mind of interiority. Rather, both are experiences that attack and carry people away. "Eleos" is the lament that is experienced by someone in the face of what we call lamentable. The German word "Jammer" (engl. lament) is a good equivalent, because this word does not mean mere inwardness, but also its expression. Accordingly, "phobos" is not only a state of mind, but, as Aristotle says, a shiver(2) such that one's blood freezes, when a shiver is experienced.


1 Max Kommerell (Lessing and Aristotle) meritoriously wrote this story of compassion, but did not distinguish the original meaning of it enough. Cf. inzwischen W. Schadewaldt, Furcht und Mitleid? Hermes 83, 1955, S. 129ff. and the addition through H. Flashar, Hermes 1956, S. 12—48.
2. Arist. Rhet. 11 13, 1389 b 32.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Gadamer I
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik 7. durchgesehene Auflage Tübingen 1960/2010

Gadamer II
H. G. Gadamer
The Relevance of the Beautiful, London 1986
German Edition:
Die Aktualität des Schönen: Kunst als Spiel, Symbol und Fest Stuttgart 1977


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-09-26
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