Tragedy and the Philosophical Life - A Response to Martha Nussbaum Volume I: Protagoras
These books respond to Martha Nussbaum’s interpretation of Plato in The Fragility of Goodness: luck and ethics in Greek tragedy and philosophy. The author focuses her arguments on three issues: 1) Plato’s views did not change as radically as Dr. Nussbaum claims; 2) Plato is not anti-tragic; and 3) Plato’s dialogues go beyond tragedy, both in their form and in their content, without being anti-tragic. These claims are supported in four ways: 1) by applying Aristotle’s criteria for tragedy as a literary genre to Plato’s texts; 2) by applying a definition of tragedy as a worldview to Plato’s texts; 3) by examining Plato’s texts from the perspective of the literary traditions of his day; and 4) by a close analysis of the text. These books present a unique view of the philosophical life as a path out of tragedy and a unique understanding of how the character of Socrates exemplifies that life. Part One is a summary of Dr. Nussbaum’s view and of current research on these particular issues in Plato. Part Two is the author’s own contribution to the debate. Part Three is a closer examination of Dr. Nussbaum’s view and exactly where the author and Dr. Nussbaum disagree.
“Alfred North Whitehead famously wrote that ‘the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.’ Dr. Martha Beck directs our attention from the footnotes back to the text, where we discover an argument for and portrayal of the philosophical life as embedded thoroughly in the rough and tumble of society and politics. Indeed, Dr. Beck contends that Plato’s portrayal of the philosophical life is the profoundest argument for it ...” – Dr. Patrick Henry, Director, Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research (1984-2004)
Table of Contents
ISBN10: 0-7734-5847-6 ISBN13: 978-0-7734-5847-5 Pages: 316 Year: 2006