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COUNTERPRESS | The Ethics of Tragedy
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Ethics of Tragedy: Dwelling, Thinking, Measuring

Ari Hirvonen
Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Helsinki

This books shows how tragedy is a presentation of the concept of justice and that, in and through this presentation, tragedy presents itself as an ethics that takes place in a public space.

The first part analyses Hegel’s reading of Antigone as a conflict between two laws and between family and state. The second part analyses Heidegger’s Antigone from the perspective of finitude and being-towards-death. The third part considers Antigone’s act from the perspective of Lacan. In the fourth part, Antigone is seen from the perspective of Hölderlin, who, more than Hegel, Heidegger, and Lacan, is the one who deals with transgression most radically. Justice is seen as an interplay between unconditional limits and the possibility of an impossible transgression as Antigone aims to become Dikē, the Goddess of Justice. The fifth part argues that we have to understand Antigone not merely as a legal, philosophical, or psychoanalytic play, but as a theatre. Tragedy as theatre is not so much about Antigone as a hero of jurisprudence, philosophy, or psychoanalysis, but a stage of justice.

Readership: Philosophers, psychoanalysts, legal scholars, literature and theatre scholars, and those who practice theatre.

Expected Spring 2019 (Notify when available)