Philosophy and Comedy

Philosophy and Comedy

Aristophanes, Logos, and Eros
Bernard Freydberg
Distribution: World
Publication date: 04/16/2008
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-21970-1
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Aristophanes' comedies have stood the test of time as some of the greatest comic literature ever produced. While there have been numerous commentaries on Aristophanes and his world, until now there has been no systematic philosophical treatment of his comedies. In Philosophy and Comedy, Bernard Freydberg illuminates the philosophical insights in Aristophanes' texts by presenting close readings of Clouds, Wasps, Assemblywomen, and Lysistrata, addressing their comic genius at the same time. Freydberg challenges notions that philosophy is best served by a tragic disposition and arrives at a new assessment of the philosophical importance of comedy.

Author Bio

Bernard Freydberg is Research Professor of Philosophy at Koç University, Istanbul. He is author of Imagination in Kant's Critique of Practical Reason (IUP, 2005).


“[Opens] up Aristophanes' hilarious and vulgar texts to an exploration of their more subtle and complex underlying senses.”
 — Sara Brill, Fairfield University

“[The] real asset of Freydberg's work is that he has turned us in the right direction to appreciate the philosophy implicit in comedy.”
 — Robert Metcalf, University of Colorado at Denver

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Table of Contents


Introduction: On the Underlying Sense of Aristophanic Comedy

Part 1. Logos and Human Limits
1. Clouds and the Measuring of Logos
2. Wasps and the Limits of Logos

Part 2. Eros and Human Limits
3. Assemblywomen: Eros and Human Law
4. Lysistrata: Eros and Transcendence

Conclusion: Ridicule and Measure