On Germans and Other Greeks: Tragedy And Ethical Life

Paperback | September 19, 2001

byDennis J. Schmidt

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On Germans and Other Greeks
Tragedy and Ethical Life

Dennis J. Schmidt

What Greek tragedy and German philosophy reveal about the meaning of art for ethical life.

"Schmidt's investigation of tragedy is a highly significant, powerful work, one with far-reaching consequences. It bears on our understanding of the role of the arts and of philosophical thinking in our culture."
-Rodolphe Gasché

In this illuminating work, Dennis J. Schmidt examines tragedy as one of the highest forms of human expression for both the ancients and the moderns. While uncovering the specifically Greek nature of tragedy as an exploration of how to live an ethical life, Schmidt's elegant and penetrating readings of Greek texts show that it was the beauty of Greek tragic art that led Kant and other German thinkers to appreciate the relationship between tragedy and ethics. The Germans, however, gave this relationship a distinctly German interpretation. Through the Greeks, the Germans reflected on the enigmas of ethical life and asked innovative questions about how to live an ethical life outside of the typical assumptions and restrictions of traditional Western metaphysics. Schmidt's engagements with Schelling, Hegel, Hölderlin, Nietzsche, and Heidegger show how German philosophical appropriations of Greek tragedy conceived of ethics as moving beyond the struggle between good and evil toward the discovery of community truths. Enlisting a wide range of literary and philosophical texts, some translated into English for the first time, Schmidt reveals that contemporary notions of tragedy, art, ethics, and truth are intimately linked to the Greeks.

Dennis J. Schmidt is Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University. He is author of The Ubiquity of the Finite and translator of Ernst Bloch's Natural Law and Human Dignity.

Studies in Continental Thought-John Sallis, general editor May 2001
432 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4, bibl., index
cloth 0-253-33868-9 $49.95 L / £38.00
paper 0-253-21443-2 $24.95 s / £18.95

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On Germans and Other GreeksTragedy and Ethical LifeDennis J. SchmidtWhat Greek tragedy and German philosophy reveal about the meaning of art for ethical life."Schmidt's investigation of tragedy is a highly significant, powerful work, one with far-reaching consequences. It bears on our understanding of the role of the arts and of philos...

Dennis J. Schmidt is Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University. He is author of The Ubiquity of the Finite and translator of Ernst Bloch's Natural Law and Human Dignity.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:360 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.08 inPublished:September 19, 2001Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253214432

ISBN - 13:9780253214430

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

In Lieu of a Preface
Key to Frequently Cited Works
Questions
1. Plato
2. Aristotle
Interlude: Kant and Schelling
Appendix A: The Earliest System-Program of German Idealism
Appendix B: Tenth Letter on Dogmatism and Criticism
3. Hegel
4. Hölderlin
Appendix C: Letter to Böhlendorf
Appendix D: Letter to Brother
Appendix E: "In lovely blueness... "
Appendix F: Empedocles
Appendix G: The Death of Empedocles
5. Nietzsche
6. Heidegger
Appendix H: Heidegger's Translation of the Choral Ode from Antigone
Appendix I: Hölderlin's Translation of the Choral Ode from Antigone
Convictions and Suspicions
Notes
Bibliography
Index