• Sarah Ruth Jansen deposited Audience Psychology and Censorship in Plato’s Republic on Humanities Commons 5 years, 3 months ago

    In Republic X, the “problem of the irrational part” is this: Greek tragedy interacts with non-reasoning elements of the soul, affecting audiences in ways that undermine their reasoned views about virtue and value. I suggest that the common construal of Socrates’s critique of Greek tragedy is inadequate, in that it belies key elements of Plato’s audience psychology; specifically, the crucial role of the spirited part and the audience’s cognitive contribution to spectatorship. I argue that Socrates’s emphasis on the audience’s cognitive contribution to spectatorship allows him to anticipate a non-authoritarian solution to the problem of the irrational part.