Education and Culture in the Political Thought of Aristotle by Carnes Lord

Lord, Carnes. Education and Culture in the Political Thought of Aristotle. Ithaca: Cornell U. Press, 1982.

From a Review:

“Lord’s study of Aristotle, which for the most part is a commentary on the last 2 books of the politics, has as its main purpose the reputation of the long-standing opinion that modern literary criticism has its origins in Aristotle. Lord reasons to the contrary that Aristotle sides with Plato in affirming the didactic function of poetry as against the modern liberal view which argues for poetry’s aesthetic autonomy. Poetry, or more generally music, is an instrument for teaching morality to citizens and for transmitting the political culture of the regime. At the same time Aristotle is suspicious of the political life and of the moral consequences of spirited devotion to the common good…Lord’s most intriguing contention is that Aristotle uses poetry to accomplish a non-philosophic escape from politics, one that would be available to ordinary citizens and that would work to mitigate the worst effects of spiritedness.”

– Review fromĀ The Journal of Politics, Vol. 47, No. 3.