Katharsis vor Aristoteles: Zum kulturellen Hintergrund des Tragodiensatzes

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Aristotle uses the concept of catharsis at various points in his writings - in his works on reproduction, on zoology, on physics, and on politics. In his Poetics , the concept is deployed metaphorically in order to determine the purpose of tragedy. Which models of catharsis was Aristotle acquainted with, and what was the relationship between them? Proceeding from a detailed foreword, the specialist papers provide an overview of the use of the term in the different areas of biology, medicine, ritual, cult, music theory, psychology and philosophy. Working on a broad collaborative interdisciplinary basis, the authors determine the specific functions of the various conceptions of catharsis and thus clarify the foundations for the concept in poetology.