Si le tragique n'est pas le propre de la tragédie grecque mais bien celui de 'l'être au monde de l'homme', sa conceptualisation n'advient qu'avec Wilderlin lorsque celui-ci s'approprie la question 'Comment lit-on la tragédie?', non plus selon son acception poétique, mais en tant que forme philosophique. Et si l'on suit sa réflexion, à la question 'Qu'est-ce que le tragique?', on notera qu'il est une façon d'être au monde de manière spéculative. L'union des contraires, de la poésie et de la sagesse, (...) voilà ce qui a tant plu à Empédocle, Hölderlin et Nietzsche. Si Je est un autre, la pensée tragique représente l'individu conscient de lui-même dans sa totalité. Mais, un personnage tragique n'est-il pas destiné à exister dans l'Histoire? Pour ces trois poètes, il s'agissait de traduire le monde du symbole, de la parabole, ou de l'allégorie en une nouvelle langue. En relisant de cette manière le tragique du monde, se découvre un sens qu'Empédocle, Hölderlin ou Nietzsche illuminèrent de leur regard: la mort dans les esquisses d'une tragédie pour Hölderlin et Nietzsche, ou la chute du démon chez Empédocle, traduisent la relation des oppositions dans l'absolu de la disparition"--Page 4 of cover. (shrink)
Schiller’s essays on tragedy attempt to argue that tragic experience is ethically valuable by forging a connection with Kant’s conception of autonomy. Standard interpretations hold that the connection lies in the fact that tragedies depict characters (primarily the hero) exercising autonomy. This paper argues that Schiller also views the experience prompted by tragedy as itself involving autonomy. Drawing on Kant’s discussion of aesthetic “symbols”, Schiller holds that the audience members’ experience at the tragedy is isomorphic with the autonomous exercise of (...) practical reason. Only in this way, I argue, can we make sense of Schiller’s contention that tragedy actively cultivates freedom in its viewers. Additionally, the interpretation shows how Schiller can hold that tragedy yields a kind of cognition of transcendental freedom while maintaining Kantian strictures on noumenal knowledge. (shrink)
This book defends Aestheticism- the claim that everything is aesthetically valuable and that a life lived in pursuit of aesthetic value can be a particularly good one. Furthermore, in distilling aesthetic qualities, artists have a special role to play in teaching us to recognize values; a critical component of virtue. I ground my account upon an analysis of aesthetic value as ‘objectified final value’, which is underwritten by an original psychological claim that all aesthetic values are distal versions of practical (...) values. This is followed by systematic accounts of beauty, sublimity, comedy, drama, and tragedy, as well as appendix entries on the cute, the cool, the kitsch, the uncanny, the horrific, the erotic, and the furious. (shrink)
Mais quelle est la source de cette force qui nous laisse sans peur devant la source de la peur, sans desarroi devant la source du desarroi? A quelle puissance la joie trouve-t-elle soudain cette force qui lui permet de resister a l'effet corrosif d'une tragedie a laquelle elle s'expose? Telle est la question essentielle a laquelle nous devons enfin proposer une reponse. Voici ce dont un Clement Rosset d'a peine 21 ans rapporte l'experience et l'analyse dans cet essai inedit qui (...) prefigure de maniere originale bon nombre de ses reflexions ulterieures, et notamment celle-ci: l'impossibilite de rendre raison de la joie tragique, lucide d'exister. (shrink)
In the middle of the 18th century, a new fad found its way into the gardens of England's well-to-do: building fake Gothic ruins. Newly constructed castle towers and walls looked like they were already falling apart, even on the first day of their creation. Made of stone, plaster, or even canvas, these "sham ruins" are often considered an embarrassing blip in English architectural history. However, Sham Ruins: A User's Guide expands the specific example of the sham ruin into a general (...) principle to examine the way purposely broken objects can be used both to uncover old truths and invent new ones. Along with architecture, work by Ivan Vladislavić, Tom Stoppard, Alain Mabanckou, Aleksei Fedorchenko, Michael Haneke, and Sturtevant is used to develop this thesis, as well as artifacts such as pre-torn jeans, fake histories, and broken screen apps. Using these examples, one of the key questions the book raises is: What is it that sham ruins ruin? In other words, if real ruins are ruins of what they actually are, then sham ruins should be considered ruins of what they are not. Thus sham ruins are about imposing new meaning where such meaning does not and should not exist. They also can show how things we think are functioning well are actually already broken. Sham ruins do this, and much more, by being lies, ruses, and embarrassments. This is what gives them the power with which we can think about objects in new, unintended ways. (shrink)
From the curator of The New York Times's "The Stone," a provocative and timely exploration into tragedy--how it articulates conflicts and contradiction that we need to address in order to better understand the world we live in. We might think we are through with the past, but the past isn't through with us. Tragedy permits us to come face to face with what we do not know about ourselves but that which makes those selves who we are. Having Been Born (...) is a compelling examination of ancient Greek origins in the development and history of tragedy--a story that represents what we thought we knew about the poets, dramatists, and philosophers of ancient Greece--and shows them to us in an unfamiliar, unexpected, and original light. (shrink)
Tragedy as Philosophy in the Reformation World' examines how sixteenth- and seventeenth-century poets, theologians, and humanist critics turned to tragedy to understand providence and agencies human and divine in the crucible of the Reformation. Rejecting familiar assumptions about tragedy, vital figures like Philipp Melanchthon, David Pareus, Lodovico Castelvetro, John Rainolds, and Daniel Heinsius developed distinctly philosophical ideas of tragedy,irreducible to drama or performance, inextricable from rhetoric, dialectic, and metaphysics. In its proximity to philosophy, tragedy afforded careful readers crucial insight into (...) causality, probability, necessity, and the terms of human affect and action. With these resources at hand, poets and critics produced aseries of daring and influential theses on tragedy between the 1550s and the 1630s, all directly related to pressing Reformation debates concerning providence, predestination, faith, and devotional practice. Under the influence of Aristotle's Poetics, they presented tragedy as an exacting forensic tool, enabling attentive readers to apprehend totality. And while some poets employed tragedy to render sacred history palpable with new energy and urgency, others marshalled a precise philosophicalnotion of tragedy directly against spectacle and stage-playing, endorsing anti-theatrical theses on tragedy inflected by the antique Poetics. In other words, this work illustrates the degree to which some of the influential poets and critics in the period, emphasized philosophical precision at the0expense of-even to the exclusion of-dramatic presentation. (shrink)
In Umberto Eco’s classic novel The Name of the Rose, we are introduced to a decidedly Platonic fear of laughter. According to the blind librarian Jorge de Burgos, “[l]aughter is weakness, corruption, the foolishness of our flesh. It is the peasant’s entertainment, the drunkard’s license;... laughter remains base, a defense for the simple, a mystery desecrated for the plebeians.”1 Laughter could not accompany insight or clarity or revelation. By destroying the last known copy of the second part of Aristotle’s Poetics, (...) which delves into comedy after the already-familiar investigation of tragedy, de Burgos hopes to undermine any argument that claims to find significance in comic content. Indeed, the central plot of... (shrink)
«¿Podemos leer trágicamente el mundo social contemporáneo? ¿Tendría sentido hacerlo? ¿Deberíamos? En los trabajos reunidos en este libro se insiste en dar una respuesta afirmativa a los tres interrogantes». Efectivamente, la presente compilación de escritos aparecidos en revistas y libros pone de manifiesto el itinerario unitario desarrollado por Ramón Ramosen pos de un objetivo: «el de pensar y reconstruir la tradición sociológica en el plano de sus relaciones con lo trágico para reivindicar su pertinencia actual, en unos tiempos marcados por (...) el riesgo medioambiental y el temor a la catástrofe con la que amenaza el cambio climático. Que hay una tradición de lo trágico en la sociología es indudable; que esa tradición ha sido fructífera, también lo es; que se haya desarrollado de forma suficiente es más que cuestionable; que sea pertinente en la actualidad es algo sometido a debate, aunque soy de la opinión de que su pertinencia es inequívoca y que hay muy buenas razones que lo avalan». (shrink)
A tragédia de Orestes, escrita pelo tragediógrafo grego Ésquilo, influenciou decisivamente o pensamento ético-político de Hegel. Em seu ensaio sobre o Direito Natural (1802-1803), o filósofo alemão associa seu conceito de absoluto com sua interpretação da tragédia grega, ato com o qual expõe sua concepção da vida ética absoluta, dando continuidade à ideia que havia esboçado, no âmbito teológico, em "O Espírito do cristianismo e seu destino", i.e., a de que o destino e a justiça trágica forneceriam os termos de (...) uma alternativa aos conceitos jurídicos kantianos e cristãos de justiça. Mas, em "Sobre as maneiras de tratar cientificamente o direito natural", Hegel vai além. Ele demonstra que o gênero trágico apresenta uma concepção de ética e política que pode ser uma alternativa às concepções modernas do direito natural, o que permite a Hegel opor a representação trágica da unidade da vida ética absoluta ao dualismo e às dicotomias que estruturam as teorias políticas de seu tempo. Essa intuição da tragédia propiciou ao filósofo compreender a vida ética absoluta como o verdadeiro fundamento da ética e da política. Enquanto tal, ela pressupõe, necessariamente, todas as teorias do Direito Natural. Hegel denomina essa representação da unidade da vida ético-política como "a representação da tragédia da vida ética". A obra emblemática e talvez até mesmo inspiradora dessa compreensão do direito natural é "Eumênides", de Ésquilo, peça que encerra a trilogia "Oresteia". A partir dela, Hegel desenvolve, no capítulo intitulado “a ciência especulativa e o direito natural”, sua concepção trágica da vida ética absoluta. É que a tragédia de Orestes expõe o problema político que Hegel quer resolver: as relações entre o universal e o particular, o todo e as partes, o Estado e o indivíduo, etc. Além de explicitar o problema político, a obra de Ésquilo também expõe a solução do que Hegel considera ser o conflito absoluto, i.e., o jogo das oposições (universal/particular, todo/partes, Estado/indivíduos) que consiste na essência da vida ética e política. Tal solução se dá, na peça, com o julgamento do herói, Orestes, e a consequente pacificação das Erínias, transformadas em Eumênides. Esse movimento é a culminação da trilogia "Oresteia" e ilustra o tipo de reconciliação que Hegel procurava produzir com sua Filosofia do Direito: a (re)organização da totalidade ética. (shrink)
Even though it’s frequently asserted that we are living in a golden age of scripted television, television as a medium is still not taken seriously as an artistic art form, nor has the stigma of television as “chewing gum for the mind” really disappeared. -/- Philosopher Martin Shuster argues that television is the modern art form, full of promise and urgency, and in New Television, he offers a strong philosophical justification for its importance. Through careful analysis of shows including The (...) Wire, Justified, and Weeds, among others; and European and Anglophone philosophers, such as Stanley Cavell, Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, and John Rawls; Shuster reveals how various contemporary television series engage deeply with aesthetic and philosophical issues in modernism and modernity. What unifies the aesthetic and philosophical ambitions of new television is a commitment to portraying and exploring the family as the last site of political possibility in a world otherwise bereft of any other sources of traditional authority; consequently, at the heart of new television are profound political stakes. (shrink)
The book explores the forbidden feelings of beauty, admiration, or satisfaction before instances of terror and human pain from eighteenth-century natural disasters to twenty-first-century terrorist destruction. It explores the fascination felt by the subject witnessing major disasters directly or in a mediated fashion. Emmanouil Aretoulakis' makes the challenging proposition that there is, paradoxically, an ethics in the aesthetic appraisal of terror.
A Philosophy of Tragedy explores the tragic condition of man in modernity. Nietzsche knew it, as have countless characters in literature, and the modern age places us squarely before it: the sheer contingency and instability of our existence, our homelssness, our unredeemed suffering, our fractured relation to morality. Christopher Hamilton draws as much on literature, including the tragic theatre, as on philosophy to offer a stirring account of our tragic state. In doing so he explores the nature of philosophy itself, (...) the ways it has been understood and its relationship to humanity. The book ranges from the debate over the 'death of tragedy' to a critique of modern virtue ethics, offers a new interpretation of the evil of Auschwitz and explores the work of thinkers who have seen our tragic being as inherently inconsolable. A Philosophy of Tragedy shows how tragedy has been and continues to be a crucial part of the modern human experience - one from which we should not avert our eyes. (shrink)
Under the microscope of recent scholarship the universality of Greek tragedy has started to fade, as particularities of Athenian culture have come into focus. Miriam Leonard contests the idea of the death of tragedy and argues powerfully for the continued vitality and viability of Greek tragic theater in the central debates of contemporary culture.
By analysing how the audience interpreted the many voices of tragic performance, this chapter suggests a new model for understanding tragedy’s relationship to the world of the watching community. Although the idea that the poet expresses his personal opinions through the chorus or his characters is now rightly seen as old-fashioned and naïve, it is still legitimate to ask how the poet uses his heroic characters and their voices to speak to his contemporary audience—using ‘speak to’ in the broadest sense, (...) that is, how the poet engages, provokes, and entertains his diverse and demanding audience, with the ultimate aim of winning the prize for the best production in the tragic competition. This chapter argues that tragedy’s status as a popular art-form—where the multiple voices of tragic performance offer something for everyone in the audience—has important implications for the genre’s place in fifth-century Athenian culture, and that a realization of tragedy’s broad appeal opens up the issue of its relationship to civic discourse in new and revealing ways. (shrink)
Le tragique n'est pas uniquement à l'Age classique une catégorie théâtrale ; il est également un concept philosophique, et si pour des auteurs comme Corneille ou Racine, il est une donnée littéraire reçue de l'Antiquité, il est chez des philosophes comme Descartes, Pascal ou Spinoza, un concept à construire ou à élaborer. Cette relation idéale entre hommes de théâtre et philosophes a un enjeu important : quelles solutions apporter au tragique?
This book is a full survey of the philosophy of tragedy from antiquity to the present. From Aristotle to Žižek the focal question has been: why, in spite of its distressing content, do we value tragic drama? What is the nature of the 'tragic effect'? Some philosophers point to a certain kind of pleasure that results from tragedy. Others, while not excluding pleasure, emphasize the knowledge we gain from tragedy - of psychology, ethics, freedom or immortality. Through a critical engagement (...) with these and other philosophers, the book concludes by suggesting an answer to the question of what it is that constitutes tragedy 'in its highest vocation'. This book will be of equal interest to students of philosophy and of literature. (shrink)
Human life is defined between diverse extremes: birth and death, nothing and infinity. Theater tries to stage something of this between-being and bring it out of its recess in everyday life. What can be called a metaxological philosophy can illuminate this between-condition. “ Metaxu ” is the Greek word for “between,” while “ logos ” can mean an accounting, or reasoning, or wording. A metaxological philosophy of the theatre would look on it as staging the between . Can we say (...) that the theatrical stage, as an intermedium of human communication, is a distinctive wording of the between? Can a metaxological philosophy throw light on what is staged on it, in and through it? In light of this philosophy of the metaxu, reflections are offered on essential themes such as: the space of the stage, the intermediation of inter-action, the shaping of plot, the openness of endings, the tragic and the comic, the sacred and the profane. (shrink)
The principle with which Hume accounts for the seemingly unaccountable pleasure that we take in tragic drama is placed in its theoretical context, and the various metaphors that Hume uses in describing this principle are examined. These metaphors are then brought to bear on an interpretative controversy concerning the result of Hume's principle for the subordinate passion. It is argued that, while Hume's considered position should have been that this passion is destroyed at the end of the process, it is (...) most likely that Hume did not consider the question very carefully, so as to form a definite answer in his own mind. (shrink)
Durante el año 2008, el Seminario de Sociedad y Cultura Contemporáneas de nuestra universidad quiso celebrar un ciclo de conferencias sobre la actualidad de lo trágico. Nuestra convicción era que la cultura contemporánea volvía a necesitar la voz y la energía del pensamiento de la tragedia, después de que estas hubieran sido interesadamente neutralizadas en los últimos tiempos. Para este proyecto, se contó con la presencia de toda una autoridad mundial en esta área, Sergio Givone, así como con reputados profesores (...) españoles como Luis Enrique de Santiago Guervós, Pilar López de Santamaría, Marco Parmeggiani o Celso Sánchez Capdequí; acompañados a su vez de jóvenes promesas del panorama nacional. El resultado de ese ciclo es este volumen, donde se recorre a ese respecto un trayecto tanto cronológico (que pasa por Schopenhauer, Dostoievski, Nietzsche, Unamuno, los futuristas) como temático (con asuntos tales que la libertad, el amor fati, el arte contemporáneo, la novedad y la educación). (shrink)
Hamilton explains why "drama" is a category of literature rather than of theater, even though it is appropriate to describe many theatrical performances as "dramatic." Consideration of the possibilities of theatrical performance are especially important to this category of literature, but need not be (and often are not) decisive in constraining interpretations of dramatic works.
The views of John Dewey and Kurt Vonnegut are often criticized for opposite reasons: Dewey’s philosophy is said to be naively optimistic while Vonnegut’s work is read as cynical. The standard debates over the views of the two thinkers cause readers to overlook the similarities in the way each approaches tragic experience. This paper examines Dewey’s philosophic account of time and meaning and Vonnegut’s use of time travel in his autobiographical novel Slaughterhouse-Five to illustrate these similarities. This essay demonstrates how (...) both Dewey and Vonnegut embrace the ameliorative possibilities of art for preserving individuality and meaning in the face of tragic experience. (shrink)
Reason's Grief takes W. B. Yeats's comment that we begin to live only when we have conceived life as tragedy as a call for a tragic ethics, something the modern West has yet to produce. Harris argues that we must turn away from religious understandings of tragedy and the human condition and realize that our species will occupy a very brief period of history, at some point to disappear without a trace. We must accept an ethical perspective that avoids pernicious (...) fantasies about ultimate redemption but that sees tragic loss as a permanent and pervasive aspect of our daily lives, yet finds a way to think, feel and act with both passion and hope. Reason's Grief takes us back through the history of our thinking about value to find our way. The call is for nothing less than a paradigm shift for understanding both tragedy and ethics. (shrink)
It is unfashionable to talk about artistic truth. Yet the issues traditionally addressed under that term have not disappeared. Indeed, questions concerning the role of the artist in society, the relationship between art and knowledge and the validity of cultural interpretation have intensified. Lambert Zuidervaart challenges intellectual fashions. He proposes a new critical hermeneutics of artistic truth that engages with both analytic and continental philosophies and illuminates the contemporary cultural scene. People turn to the arts as a way of finding (...) orientation in their lives, communities and institutions. But philosophers, hamstrung by their own theories of truth, have been unsuccessful in accounting for this common feature in our lives. This book portrays artistic truth as a process of imaginative disclosure in which expectations of authenticity, significance and integrity prevail. Understood in this way, truth becomes central to the aesthetic and social value of the arts. (shrink)
The problem of tragedy is the problem of explaining why tragedy gives us the pleasure that it does, given that it has the content that it has. I propose a series of constraints that any adequate solution to the problem must satisfy. Then I develop a solution to the problem that satisfies those constraints. But I do not claim that the solution I develop uniquely satisfies the constraints I propose. I aim merely to narrow the field of contending solutions, and (...) then to draw attention to an overlooked contended in that narrowed field. (shrink)
Peter Szondi´s pathbreaking work is a succinct and elegant argument for distinguishing between a philosophy of the tragic and the poetics of tragedy espoused by Aristotle. The first of the book´s two parts consists of a series of commentaries on philosophical and aesthetic texts from twelve thinkers and poets between 1795 and 1915: Schelling, Hölderlin, Hegel, Solger, Goethe, Schopenhauer, Vischer, Kierkegaard, Hebbel, Nietzsche, Simmel, and Scheler. The various definitions of tragedy are read not so much in terms of their specific (...) philosophies, but rather in the way their views assist in analyzing tragedies with an aim to establish a general concept of the tragic. The second part presents exemplary analyses of eight tragedies: Sophocles’Oedipus Rex, Calderon´s Life Is a Dream, Shakespeare´s Othello, Gryphius´ Leo Armenius, Racine´s Phaedra, Schiller´s Demetrius, Kleist’s The Schroffenstein Family and Büchner’s Danton's Death. The readings neither presuppose a concept of the tragic determined by context (as in Hegel's idea of the conflict between two orders of right), nor do they focus exclusively on the texts´ explicit contents. Instead, they elaborate the dialectical or aporetic structures at the heart of the tragic. The works analyzed represent the four great epochs of tragic poetry: the age of Greek tragedy; the Baroque era in Spain, England, and Germany; French Classicism; and the age of Goethe. (shrink)
With the positively ending Elektra, Sophocles wanted to show the audience how political and moral independence, judgment and the courage to act are necessary - to a sometimes extreme extent - for the good of the family and the state. Even in the old democracy, virtue - which for Hegel was a principle of democracy - was not enough on its own. The downfall of democracy was probably due to a lack of individuality rather than the emergence of that individuality. (...) We find the negative result of Hegel's general assessment of the contribution of an individual to democracy not only in relation to ancient democracy. In a similar sense he expresses himself about contemporary conditions. In the Reform Bill article he describes how a French voter makes up a ninety-millionth part of the legislative power and will therefore pay little attention to his contribution to the general public. Although the Athenian democracy was smaller and different from the French one, its citizens probably needed proof of the need for individual participation in it too. Sophocles' Electra served this purpose. How Elektra and Orestes re-paved the way for an essential institution of democracy, the court of justice, will not have escaped the onlookers' attention. In this play it was shown that individuality could have negative as well as positive consequences. After all, it was only through the appearance of Electra and Orestes that justice could be saved and become a public matter again. (shrink)
From Plato's _Republic_ and Aristotle's _Poetics_ to Nietzsche's _The Birth of Tragedy_, the theme of tragedy has been subject to radically conflicting philosophical interpretations. Despite being at the heart of philosophical debate from Ancient Greece to the Nineteenth Century, however, tragedy has yet to receive proper treatment as a philosophical tradition in its own right. _Philosophy and Tragedy_ is a compelling contribution to that oversight and the first book to address the topic in a major way. Eleven new essays by (...) internationally renowned philosophers clearly show how time and again, major thinkers have returned to tragedy in many of their key works. _Philosophy and Tragedy_ aks why it is that thinkers as far apart as Hegel and Benjamin should make tragedy such an important theme in their work, and why, after Kant, an important strand of philosophy should present itself tragically. From Heidegger's reading of Sophocles' Antigone to Nietzsche and Benjamin's book-length studies of tragedy, _Philosophy and Tragedy_ presents an outstanding and original study of this preoccupation. The five sections are organised clearly around five major philosophers: Hegel, Holderlin, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Benjamin. (shrink)