Аtaraxia as a measure eurythmy and harmony: definitions and differentiation Cover Image

Атараксія як міра, евритмія й гармонія: дефініції та диференціація
Аtaraxia as a measure eurythmy and harmony: definitions and differentiation

Author(s): Viktoria Rudko
Subject(s): Music, Ethics / Practical Philosophy, Aesthetics
Published by: Національна академія керівних кадрів культури і мистецтв
Keywords: ataraxia; eurythmy; harmony; Hellenism; measure; rhythm;

Summary/Abstract: Ataraxia is an important subject of philosophical reflection. This term has rather a deep knowledge of harmonious spirit of being rooted in everyday life. However, the state of scientific discourse does not give us sufficient reason to believe that the definition of the problem and its requirements in terms of philosophical reflection has entered the final decision. Exploring the meaning of ataraxia, we found that for the definition of ataraxic state purely aesthetic categories such as "harmony", "measure" and "eurhythmy" can be used. To moral and aesthetic ideals of the ancient polis the ideal of rational comparison and proportionality is inherent as the most significant element. In this regard, the main provisions of Protagoras – "Man is the measure of all things" – gets an aesthetic sense. The category of degree plays an important role in the study of moral virtues. Moderation is one of the cardinal virtues of antiquity. Ethics as a doctrine of virtue is essentially a doctrine of moderation, avoiding the extremes of redundancy and failure, and is expressed in the following terms: symmetry, moderation, middle, ethos, equality, justice and so on. The peripatetics express the category of measure in the doctrine of metriopaty (moderation of passion), and Epicureanism, Stoicism and skepticism in the doctrine of ataraxia. Thus, the extent understood as structural formation and hierarchical ordering is characteristics not only of ethical and political life. Ataraxia as a state of peace of mind, which is understood as a measure of the power of mind is a state of mind feelings of subordination, supports life building of all space, so ataraxia is the keeper of order and proportionality, the cause of beauty and the very concept of beautiful. Rhythm is the most important formative characteristic of spatial and temporal unity and, therefore, one of the foundations of the universe, worldview and creativity. Fundamentality of this category is that rhythm is an aesthetic category of ontological unity of the world and man, the macrocosm and the microcosm. The mechanism of interaction between rhythm and the universe is revealed in the way the tree branches move in the rhythm of the wind, the noise of the sea, murmur of the breeze, whistling of the wind in the rocks, between the hills and mountains, flashes of lightning and crashes of thunder, the harmony of the sun and moon, in the motion of stars and planets, flowering plants, defoliation, in regular changes of mornings and evenings, day and night – all this opens the music of nature up for the one who contemplates. Eurythmy is the human capacity to find the right rhythm in every aspect of life – singing, playing, dancing, speech, gestures, thoughts, birth and death. The doctrine of the powerful and miraculous influence of music on mood is inherent throughout antiquity. For the first time the exact wording of the content of musical ethos we find in the works of the Athenian Damon. He believed that the different rhythms and melodies have different effects on the human soul. Knowledge of music content inherent to ethos led him to the idea of a musical virtue, Paideia. We can consciously form personality through music. The criterion of aesthetic evaluation by Damon’s school is the attitude to the social-democratic morality of the polis. Musical compositions, musical form and tools are considered full-fledged that require Paideia, in which the individual rises to the level of community perceptions. Thus, the individual feels and understands the world as its own internal unity of the polis and its content community connectedness. For Aristoxenus, an ancient Greek philosopher and theorist of music, eurythmy is important as means of public moral education, which he understands as education of courageous, noble and simple character. And, as is typical for the whole of antiquity, human moral ideal he interprets not as arbitrary setting, but as a reflection of cosmic beauty and cosmic order in the human society. Music is capable of moral influence because it imbued with this beauty and this order. M. Rice notes that Aristoxenus denied reliance on abstract mathematical patterns that are perceived only speculatively. The basis of his views is primarily sensory perception. Harmony for him is not the state of the world, but first of all human condition. So ataraxia 1) as a measure is understood as structural formation and hierarchical ordering, and is characteristic of the ethical and political life, and the life building of the whole cosmos, so ataraxia in understanding of the measure, which is in the soul, lets us act justly, and it maintains order and proportionality, reveals the beauty and the beautiful; 2) as eurythmy provides ability of the individual to find the right rhythm in every aspect of life and harmonically to log into the rhythm of polis harmony, and then connect to the cosmic rhythm of the whole world; 3) as the harmony is focused on understanding the universe, both in general and its fragments, and a man from the standpoint of their deep inner order.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 213-218
  • Page Count: 6
  • Language: Ukrainian