“The office of philosophical disquisition consists in just distinction; while it is the privilege of the philosopher to preserve himself constantly aware, that distinction is not division. In order to obtain adequate notions of any truth, we must intellectually separate its distinguishable parts; and this is the technical process of philosophy.” – Coleridge Biographia Literaria
Drawing on core works of dramatic theory from ancient Greece to the 20th century and spanning a range of theatrical traditions, this course aims to provide an introduction to the philosophy of theatre. Readings are chosen to reflect an interest in the particular topic of imitation and drama as a vehicle for social change. Questions to be considered include: What role does imitation play in theatre? Is imitation an ideal? Are there dangers inherent in imitation? What effect does imitation have on the audience? To what ends can this effect be used? The format of the course will be primarily seminar-style. Emphasis is on exploration through discussion within the learning community of the class.