Ancient tragedy and the origins of modern science by Michael Davis PDF

By Michael Davis

Via a detailed studying of Sophocles’ Ajax, Descartes’ Discourse on process, and Plato's Meno, Davis argues that historical tragedy and smooth technological know-how are replacement responses to the human eager for autonomy or striving to be a god.Tragic heroes suppose that via politics they could exert extra regulate over the realm than the area will permit. To them the entire global is politics, or polis. Scientists search to regulate by means of getting to know nature, which, in essence, skill to remodel the full of the realm right into a Polis. hence the problems and motivations in sleek technology have been already found in historical tragedy.

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Odysseus can hear but not see Athena, recognizing her from her voice. Later Ajax will be seen by Odysseus, but will not see him, and it is clear that were Odysseus to speak Ajax would have heard him. Athena tells him to "Stand silent in order that you may stay where you are" (87). She puts him in the position of a god with regard to Ajax. When Tecmessa gives her account of the madness of Ajax she includes her version of his conversation with Athena (3014). To her it looks as though Ajax is talking with an invisible shadow (skia), and she takes that as confirmation of his madness.

In his behavior toward Socrates he shows himself to be a genuine lover (174ab). Is the dialogue we hear the speech of Aristodemus or is it that of Apollodorus, the Page 6 speech of eros * or of thumos? It is clearly both; the two are outwardly indistinguishable. The Symposium is a dialogue in which speeches are given in praise of eros*, but a speech in praise of eros* is not necessarily an erotic speech. To seek to justify eros* as the "solution" to the human problem is not to have "fallen" in love.

The three are bound together by virtue of being meant to be examples of what they are about. Because their own seductiveness is meant to be taken as paradigmatic for what is in general seductive, these books demand interpretation at the same time that they wish to call attention to the fact that they demand interpretation. If animals, they are peculiarly self-conscious animals. Still, one might wonder whether something more than willfullness is responsible for placing interpretations of such different books together.

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