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The fragility of goodness : luck and ethics in Greek tragedy and philosophy

Author: Martha Craven Nussbaum
Publisher: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This book is a study of ancient Greek views about 'moral luck'. It examines the fundamental ethical problem that many of the valued constituents of a well-lived life are vulnerable to factors outside a person's control, and asks how this affects our appraisal of persons and their lives. The Greeks made a profound contribution to these questions, yet neither the problems nor the Greek views of them have received the  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Named Person: Platon; Aristote
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Martha Craven Nussbaum
ISBN: 0521257689 9780521257688 0521277027 9780521277020
OCLC Number: 12080016
Notes: Includes indexes.
Description: xvii, 544 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Luck and ethics --
Tragedy : fragility and ambition. Aeschylus and practical conflict ; Sophocles' Antigone : conflict, vision, and simplification --
Plato : goodness without fragility? The Protagoras : a science of practical reasoning ; Interlude I : Plato's anti-tragic theater ; The Republic : true value and the standpoint of perfection ; The speech of Alcibiades : a reading of the Symposium ; 'This story isn't true' : madness, reason, and recantation in the Phaedrus --
Aristotle : the fragility of the good human life. Saving Aristotle's appearances ; Rational animals and the explanation of action ; Non-scientific deliberation ; The vulnerability of the good human life : activity and disaster ; The vulnerability of the good human life : relational goods ; Appendix to pt. III : human and divine ; Interlude 2 : luck and the tragic emotions ; Epilogue : tragedy ; The betrayal of convention : a reading of Euripides' Hecuba.
Responsibility: Martha C. Nussbaum.
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Abstract:

This book is a study of ancient Greek views about 'moral luck'. It examines the fundamental ethical problem that many of the valued constituents of a well-lived life are vulnerable to factors outside a person's control, and asks how this affects our appraisal of persons and their lives. The Greeks made a profound contribution to these questions, yet neither the problems nor the Greek views of them have received the attention they deserve. This book thus recovers a central dimension of Greek thought and addresses major issues in contemporary ethical theory. One of its most original aspects is its interelated treatment of both literary and philosophical texts. In a close analysis of three tragedies, and works by Plato and Aristotle, the author argues that we cannot understand the thought of the philosophers without also investigating its relation to the literary works; and that the literary works, in virtue of their form as well as their content, make a distinctive contribution to ethical thought. --From publisher's description.

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