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Aristotle and Zōa Aisthētika

Aristotle and Zōa Aisthētika

(p.13) Chapter 1 Aristotle and Zōa Aisthētika
Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw
Debra Hawhee
University of Chicago Press

“Aristotle and Zōa Aisthētika,” reexamines Aristotle’s (in)famous alogos-logos distinction, the condition of not having or having speech or reason, the seemingly strict binary with which the philosopher and others after him purportedly used to distinguish humans from other animals. By tracking that distinction from the Politics, where it appears most famously and starkly, to the biological, metaphysical, and philosophical works and then back to his treatise on Rhetoric, the chapter offers an alternative, more productive reading of alogos, one that does not presume privation on the part of nonhuman animals, but rather views “the nonrational” as a set of capacities. This account of alogos brings into focus the importance of aisthēsis (Greek: sensation), feeling, pathos, and phantasia (a kind of imaginative seeing), all capacities related to the nonrational condition.

Keywords:   logos, alogos, phantasia, Aristotle, Politics, sensation, feeling

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