‘Could a rule be given from without, poetry would cease to be poetry, and sink into a mechanical art. It would be μóρφωσις, not ποίησις. The rules of the IMAGINATION are themselves the very powers of growth and production. The words to which they are reducible, present only the outlines and external appearance of the fruit. A deceptive counterfeit of the superficial form and colours may be elaborated; but the marble peach feels cold and heavy, and children only put it to their mouths.’ [Coleridge, Biographia ch. 18]

‘ποίησις’ (poiēsis) means ‘a making, a creation, a production’ and is used of poetry in Aristotle and Plato. ‘μóρφωσις’ (morphōsis) in essence means the same thing: ‘a shaping, a bringing into shape.’ But Coleridge has in mind the New Testament use of the word as ‘semblance’ or ‘outward appearance’, which the KJV translates as ‘form’: ‘An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form [μóρφωσις] of knowledge and of the truth in the law’ [Romans 2:20]; ‘Having a form [μóρφωσις] of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away’ [2 Timothy 3:5]. I trust that's clear.

There is much more on Coleridge at my other, Coleridgean blog.

Wednesday 31 December 2014

Scattered Thoughts on Animal Ethics and 'Divinanimality'

Earlier this year I read certain books on 'animal ethics' and 'divinanimality' for review, and blogged my progress through them. I meant to post a round-up of links to those individual posts at the time, but didn't get around to it. So here, better late than never, are the posts:

First, I read Cynthia Willett's monograph Interspecies Ethics (2014) at some length.

Second, I read Andrew Linzey's edited collection of essays that sets out to prove The Link Between Animal Abuse and Human Violence (2014)

Thirdly I read Stephen D Moore (ed), Divinanimality: Animal Theory, Creaturely Theology (2014). One of the contributors, Eric Daryl Meyer, responded (courteously) in the comments to my not-very-positive review, and pointed out a few things I missed. Accordingly I read Professor Meyer's essay at greater length, here. Discussion continued in the comments.

Sticking with 'Divinanimality', I found little of substance in Erika Murphy's essay: 'Devouring the Human: Digestion of a Corporeal Soteriology'.

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