Pluralism and tragedy

Lauren J. Apfel

in The Advent of Pluralism

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199600625
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724985 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Pluralism and tragedy

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This chapter investigates the relationship between pluralism and tragedy in three different ways. First, it discusses how pluralist conflict is inherently tragic. When values which are incompatible and incommensurable clash with one another, something will always be lost. This reality is at the heart of tragic drama. Secondly, the chapter looks at Homer as a preface to Sophocles. The Iliad's unique vision of moral dilemma and disagreement provides important models for understanding the playwright. The argument is that Homer is a weak pluralist who acknowledges the existence of conflict and loss, but whose heroes are ultimately bound by a monistic heroic code which dictates right and wrong. The chapter closes with the contention that the tragic — as opposed to epic — genre is specially equipped to be a vehicle of meta‐ethics.

Keywords: pluralism; tragedy; tragic; conflict; loss; incommensurability; Homer; Iliad; hero; heroic code; meta‐ethics

Chapter.  13318 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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