Performance and Philosophy Now
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Was Plato the first philosophical dramatist to explore philosophical ideas through dramatic content, introducing dramatic structures currently in line with contemporary theatre? If Plato was an influential figure for philosophers as well as theatre-makers, it can arguably be said that he was a silent pioneer in creating the newly defined discipline of Performance Philosophy. There is an obvious polarity between performance and philosophy since both disciplines are on the quest of exploring and presenting what life is. At least this can be said of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. Conceived as “biou techne” the art of living, Greek and Roman philosophers, especially the Epicureans, Stoics and Skeptics, saw philosophy as a way of conceiving what a good life is (a life worth living) and pursuing its practical realization for the attainment of eudemonia. Plato was arguably the first significant philosopher to explore philosophical ideas through dramatic content, introducing dramatic structures currently in line with contemporary theatre views. As such, he can be seen as an influential figure for theatre makers as well as for philosophers. Plato’s artistic intention was to uncover the artist that lacked substance and support the knowledgeable creative philosophical mind that besides instant emotional pleasure has to contribute in social development.