Dramatic Philosophy

NarelleBrecht

Dramatic Philosophy

Dramatic representations have long been conceived as provocations for philosophical engagement. From Plato and Hypatia through Brecht and Sartre, Beauvoir and Duras, they have provided fertile ground for considerations about what it means to live a moral life, what it means to engage the moral imagination and how dramatic dialogue impacts on the realization of reasonable connections between humanity’s participants. Theatre, as an example of a dramatic representation, can be regarded as a force for change in society and, like philosophy, should have the capacity to enter into conflict with other social processes, where necessary, in pursuit of worthwhile goals. Through dramatic structures, prevailing social norms may be analyzed, criticized and reconstructed according to democratic and communitarian values. The ultimate goal being to contribute to a new kind of person “better” and more effective than the present day citizen. Dramatic representations as provocations for philosophical inquiry combine with social conditions to become an active social process involving radical innovative projections that are guided but never dominated.

How might it be possible to develop the moral imagination and empathy to an extent that encourages more reasonable connections amongst people? Dramatic Philosophy is an engagement with the Other. It is art, it is philosophy, it is creativity, it is an imaginative encounter, it is authenticity, freedom, reflection, it is courage, and it is an embrace: it is the sum of all these elements. Dramatic Philosophy creates with communities and manifests as the energy that is required to sacrifice ego and work together to provide sustenance for society by harnessing the moral imagination in the walk toward empathy.

b2ap3 small NarelleBrechtDramatic Philosophy is an attempt to clarify important concepts such as rights and virtue. Philosophical positions reached may not have longevity and will, ideally, change through time in response to the needs of community, rather than remain steadfast and unwavering. That is not to say relativists lurk in the Woods of Drama, simply that the ‘art’ of philosophy is, in its ability to respond as a river to rain, moving, replenishing, giving and at times delivering danger. In the interim philosophy creates an environmental reality for its inhabitants, a set of attitudes and wants, needs and desires, a ‘Being Philosophy’ to contribute to. People will vary in their response to a stated philosophy; the response is personal though the basis is social. Follow too closely and you will be branded a fanatic and a danger to society, like Hypatia; diverge too far and you will, like Giordano Bruno, be branded a deviant and a heretic.

 

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