Philosophy Colloquium: Matthew Rickard (Mellon lab, WashU Philosophy) – “Comedy Three Ways”

October 21, 2021
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Busch Hall 100 (Danforth Campus)

“Comedy Three Ways”

Hosted by  the Department of Philosophy

Abstract: Comedy raised a deep question for renaissance literary theory. Working with an idiom derived from Aristotle, Horace, and Aelius Donatus, humanists of the sixteenth century were caught between two imperatives: (1) that comedy, like tragedy, should represent an action whose cause is intelligible, and (2) that comedy, unlike tragedy, should represent characters who are ordinary or inferior to the audience. But (2) requires that the characters’ action is irrational and therefore unintelligible, or potentially so, which threatens to violate (1). In a word: the plot both needs to make sense and to revel in senselessness. How can the circle be squared?

Full schedule, Philosophy Colloquia

For inquiries contact Sue McKinney.