RICHARD L. W. CLARKE


 

 

 

LITS2306 HISTORY OF CRITICISM

MODULE ONE: ANCIENT THOUGHT
 

WEEK ONE: INTRODUCTION / THE PRE-SOCRATICS / RHETORIC (THE SOPHISTS) V. PHILOSOPHY (THE SOCRATICS)
(Week of September 6)
 

REQUIRED READINGS:

 

 

LECTURE 1:
Introductory Matters
Readings:
  • Abrams, M. H. The Mirror and the Lamp: Ch. 1 "Introduction: Orientation of Critical Theories" (pp. 3-29):
    • "Mimetic Theories" (pp. 8-14)
    • "Pragmatic Theories" (pp. 14-21)
    • "Objective Theories" (pp. 26-29)
    • "Expressive Theories" (pp. 21-26)

Topics to be discussed:

  • Introductory Matters
  • What is Philosophy?
  • What is Rhetoric?
  • What is 'Theory'?
  • What is Literary Theory?
  • What is Literary Criticism?
Notes:
LECTURE 2:
Pre-Socratics;
Sophism;
Socratics: Plato
Notes:
TUTORIAL:
  • None this week
  •  

RECOMMENDED READINGS:

  • Havelock, Eric.  Preface to Plato.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1963.  passim
  • Irwin, Terence.  Classical ThoughtVol. 1 of Oxford History of PhilosophyOxford: OUP, 1989.  passim
  • Kennedy, George A., ed.  Classical Criticism.  Vol. 1 of of Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.  Cambridge: CUP, 1989.  passim
  • Kennedy, George A.  "Sophists and Rhetorical Handbooks."  Classical Criticism.  Ed. George A. Kennedy.  Vol. 1 of of Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.  Cambridge: CUP, 1989.  185.
  • Walker, Jeffrey.  Rhetoric and Poetic in Antiquity.  Oxford: OUP, 2000.  passim

PHILWEB RESOURCES:

COMMENTS:
 
  1. For the Required Readings by Plato, there are two links you can click on.  In each case, the first (The Republic) takes you to a translation of the entire book found at MIT while the second (a particular chapter or chapters) takes you to a PDF version, stored on this website, of the Francis Macdonald Cornford translation of the book and to which I refer in the lectures.
  2. The Required Readings may also be found in the anthologies which are on reserve in the Main Library or which may be purchased from the Bookshop (see Booklist).  Because of the existence of the sources online, I am no longer keeping a COURSE FOLDER behind the circulation desk in the Main Library.
  3. Don't forget to download the notes in question, read and bring them to the relevant lectures and tutorials, as required.  It is your responsibility to come to class prepared.  However, if for some reason (e.g. technical difficulties) the notes are not online, I will bring copies to class.
  4. Note that there are no tutorials in Week One as these commence in Week Two.
  5. If clicking on a link to one of the Required Readings takes you to a PDF document which is upside down or turned to one side, click on VIEW and then ROTATE VIEW in your Adobe programme to return it to the normal position for reading.
  6. In Tuesday's lecture, I will deal first with several introductory matters of a logistical nature (the website, the syllabus, etc.) before turning to an overview of key phases in the history of theory (see Notes 01A), the various topics addressed by theorists (Notes 01B) and, last but not least, the nature of literary criticism and literary theory (Notes 01C).
  7. In Thursday's lecture, I will begin with a broad overview of the state of philosophical discussion prior to Plato and co. by talking briefly about the so-called Pre-Socratics; I will then move on to a discussion of the rivalry in 5th century Athens between the Sophists (the proponents of rhetoric), on the one hand, and the Socratics (the advocates of philosophy), on the other.  We will also use chapter 9 of Plato's The Republic, where he expresses his fears about the negative impact of literature on the education of the 'philosopher-king,' as a way into his philosophy more generally.

WEEK TWO: PLATO'S PROTO-RATIONALISM
(Week of September 13)
 

REQUIRED READINGS:

 

 

LECTURE 1:
Plato on the Self, Knowledge & Reality
  • Plato The Republic [c.370 BCE]: Chapters XIII-XXVII:
    • Chapter XIII "The Three Parts of the Soul"
    • Chapter XXIII "The Good as the Highest Object of Knowledge"
    • Chapter XXIV "Four Stages of Cognition: the Line"
    • Chapter XXV "The Allegory of the Cave"
    • Chapter XXVII "Dialectic"
Notes:
LECTURE 2:
Plato on Drama
  • Plato The Republic [c.370 BCE]: Book X "The Quarrel between Philosophy and Poetry" (Jowett translation, pp. 31-35 in Adams; Waterfield translation, pp. 67-80 in Leitch):
    • Ch. XXXV: "How Representation in Art is Related to Truth" (read in Adams from "Of the many excellences . . ." [p. 31] to " . . . an object which is thrice removed from the truth?" [p.35])
    • Ch. XXXVI: "Dramatic Poetry Appeals to the Emotions, not to the Reason"
    • Ch. XXXVII: "The Effect of Dramatic Poetry on Character" (read from "And what kind of faculty in man . . ." [p.35] to the end " . . . anyone else would have been." [p.38])
Notes:
TUTORIAL:
  • General Discussion of literary theory, Plato

RECOMMENDED READINGS:

  • Ferrari, G. R. F.  "Plato and Poetry."  Classical Criticism.  Ed. George A. Kennedy.  Vol. 1 of of Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.  Cambridge: CUP, 1989.  92-148.
  • Janaway, Christopher.  "Ancient Greek Philosophy I: the Pre-Socratics and Plato."  Philosophy: a Guide Through the Subject.  Ed. A. C. Grayling.  Oxford: OUP, 1995.  336-397.

PHILWEB RESOURCES:

COMMENTS:
 
  • For the Required Readings by Plato, once more, there are two links you can click on.  In each case, the first (The Republic) takes you to a translation of the entire book found at MIT while the second (a particular chapter or chapters) takes you to a PDF version, stored on this website, of the Francis Macdonald Cornford translation of the book and to which I refer in the lectures.
  • In Tuesday's lecture, we will strive to come to an understanding of Plato's proto-Rationalism by examining his views on the nature of the self (including the mind), the nature of knowledge (including the process of reasoning) and the nature of reality.
  • In Thursday's lecture, we will examine Plato's views on what he sees as the two main dangers posed by art in general and literature in particular as well as his desire to banish poets from his ideal state .
  • In the tutorial, we will try to answer some basic questions on The Republic with a view to getting a better handle on the main tenets of Plato's philosophy.
  • NB: from next week, the tutorial questions will be based on the lectures of the preceding week.  So, in Week 3, although the lectures will be devoted to Aristotle, we will answer the questions on Plato from Week 2 (see 02D Questions on Plato) in the tutorial.

WEEK THREE: ARISTOTLE'S PROTO-EMPIRICISM
(Week of September 20)
 

REQUIRED READINGS:

 

 

LECTURE 1:
Aristotle on the Self, Knowledge & Reality
Notes:
LECTURE 2:
Aristotle on Drama
TUTORIAL:

RECOMMENDED READINGS:

  • Halliwell, Stephen.  "Aristotle's Poetics."  Classical Criticism.  Ed. George A. Kennedy.  Vol. 1 of of Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.  Cambridge: CUP, 1989.  149-183.
  • Lawson-Tancred, Hugh.  "Ancient Greek Philosophy II: Aristotle."  Philosophy: a Guide Through the Subject.  Ed. A. C. Grayling.  Oxford: OUP, 1995.  398-439.

PHILWEB RESOURCES:

COMMENTS:
 
  • For the Required Readings by Aristotle, there are two links you can click on.  In each case, the first (e.g. Categories) takes you to a translation of the entire book found at MIT while the second (an excerpt therefrom) takes you to a PDF version, stored on this website, of brief but very pertinent selections found in Western Philosophy: an Anthology, ed. John Cottingham and to which I refer in the lectures.
  • In the first lecture, I will provide an overview of Aristotle's metaphysical / ontological views (i.e. on the fundamental nature of the universe -- see the extract from his Categories), his epistemological views (i.e. on the nature of knowledge -- see the extracts from his Physics and Posterior Analytics), and his his philosophy of mind and self (i.e. his theory of the mind, the self and their relation to the body -- see the extract from his De Anima).  Comparisons and contrasts will be drawn with Plato's views on these subjects.
  • In the second lecture, I will provide an overview of Aristotle's views on art in general and literature in particular, especially drama.
  • In the tutorial this week, we will answer the questions on Plato.

WEEK FOUR: ARISTOTLE ON RHETORIC / RHETORIC AND LITERATURE: 'LONGINUS'
(Week of September 27)
 

REQUIRED READINGS:

 

 

LECTURE 1:
Plato v. Aristotle on Rhetoric
  • Aristotle Rhetoric (pp. 517-542 in Aristotle: Selections, trans. Terence Irwin and Gail Fine; see also pp. 117-120 in Leitch)
Notes:
LECTURE 2:
Longinus on the Sublime
 
  • 'Longinus' On the Sublime [1st century CE?] (pp. 76-98 in Adams; pp. 138-154 in Leitch): Read: chs. I, II, VII, VIII, IX (1-4), XVI, XXX, XXXIX, XL
Notes:
TUTORIAL:

RECOMMENDED READINGS:

  • Kennedy, George A.  "Plato on Rhetoric."  Classical Criticism.  Ed. George A. Kennedy.  Vol. 1 of of Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.  Cambridge: CUP, 1989.  188-190.
  • Kennedy, George A.  "Aristotle's Rhetoric."  Classical Criticism.  Ed. George A. Kennedy.  Vol. 1 of Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.  Cambridge: CUP, 1989.  190-194.
  • Russell, D. A.  "Longinus on Sublimity."  Classical Criticism.  Ed. George A. Kennedy.  Vol. 1 of Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.  Cambridge: CUP, 1989.  306-311.
  • Trimpi, Wesley.  "Sir Philip Sidney's An Apology for Poetry."  The Renaissance.  Ed. Glyn P. Norton.  Vol. 3 of Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.  Cambridge: CUP, 1999.  187-198.

PHILWEB RESOURCES:

COMMENTS:
 
  • In the first lecture this week, I will introduce students to the quarrel between philosophy and rhetoric, provide an overview of the Sophists (please bring Notes 01A above to class), and compare the respective views on rhetoric of Plato and Aristotle;
  • In the second lecture, I will provide an overview of Longinus' rhetorical approach to literature in "On the Sublime";
  • In the tutorial this week, we will answer the questions on Aristotle.

* JSTOR: available on campus only.

END OF MODULE
 

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