The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy

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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.

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This book is a study of ancient 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 updated edition contains anew preface.

Review:

"This is an immensely rich and stimulating book. This is partly because the author combines to a rare degree qualities not often found together: a scholar's understanding of the text with rigour of argument, and these together with an imaginative grasp of moral questions. But it is also because she has chosen to write a very ambitious book, to grapple with some fundamental, perennial issues....And unlike most philosophy books, it is a delight to read. It should change the tenour of debate in more than one field." Charles Taylor, Canadian Journal of Philosophy "Martha Nussbaum'sthe Fragility of Goodnessis an ambitious, imaginative and wide-ranging study (from classical antiquity to contemporary moral theory)...." Dialogue

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9780521794725: The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy

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ISBN 10: 0521794722 ISBN 13: 9780521794725
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2001
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9780521791267: The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy

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9780521257688: The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy

Cambri..., 1986
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