Location

Trimble Forum, Trimble Hall

Start Date

19-9-2014 11:00 AM

End Date

19-9-2014 11:50 AM

Description

The Augustan poets had at their disposal a vast storehouse of philosophical vocabulary, consimilar to their cache of both mythological and historical vocabularies. Vergil, for instance, had incorporated much of both the prevailing Epicureanism and the impending Stoicism of his age; the notion of philosophical appropriation in poetry as a defense against amphigory is superabundant in the aesthetics of Horace’s Ars Poetica:

Humano capiti ceruicem pictor equinam

iungere si uelit et uarias inducere plumas

undique collatis membris, ut turpiter atrum

desinat in piscem mulier formosa superne,

spectatum admissi, risum teneatis, amici? [i]

It would not be a maggoty, vagarious extension of this perspective to maintain that the criterion of both how philosophical propriety should be applied to some regimented vocabulary when utilized for some poetical work and how its connection with the internal workings of nature were to be espoused. Clear evidence that such an extension was actually made emerges from an examination of Ovid's use of philosophical vocabulary. Ovid used at one time or another a wide range of conflicting philosophical doctrines. But it is futile to suppose that Ovid espoused a philosophical system. It would be much more fruitful to view each instance of philosophical vocabulary as merely appropriate to the context in which it appears, recognizing that for Ovid the employment of philosophical vocabulary is simply a premonitory, prognosticative integrant of poetic technique.

[i] Ars Poetica, 1-5

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Philosophy Commons

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Sep 19th, 11:00 AM Sep 19th, 11:50 AM

Pragmatic-Expressivist Semantics in Ovid's Poetics

Trimble Forum, Trimble Hall

The Augustan poets had at their disposal a vast storehouse of philosophical vocabulary, consimilar to their cache of both mythological and historical vocabularies. Vergil, for instance, had incorporated much of both the prevailing Epicureanism and the impending Stoicism of his age; the notion of philosophical appropriation in poetry as a defense against amphigory is superabundant in the aesthetics of Horace’s Ars Poetica:

Humano capiti ceruicem pictor equinam

iungere si uelit et uarias inducere plumas

undique collatis membris, ut turpiter atrum

desinat in piscem mulier formosa superne,

spectatum admissi, risum teneatis, amici? [i]

It would not be a maggoty, vagarious extension of this perspective to maintain that the criterion of both how philosophical propriety should be applied to some regimented vocabulary when utilized for some poetical work and how its connection with the internal workings of nature were to be espoused. Clear evidence that such an extension was actually made emerges from an examination of Ovid's use of philosophical vocabulary. Ovid used at one time or another a wide range of conflicting philosophical doctrines. But it is futile to suppose that Ovid espoused a philosophical system. It would be much more fruitful to view each instance of philosophical vocabulary as merely appropriate to the context in which it appears, recognizing that for Ovid the employment of philosophical vocabulary is simply a premonitory, prognosticative integrant of poetic technique.

[i] Ars Poetica, 1-5