A Philosophy of Tragedy explores the tragic condition of man in modernity. Nietzsche knew it, as have countless characters in literature, and the modern age places us squarely before it: the sheer contingency and instability of our existence, our homelessness, our unredeemed suffering, our fractured relation to morality. Christopher Hamilton draws as much on literature, including the tragic theatre, as on philosophy to offer a stirring account of our tragic state. In doing so he explores the nature of philosophy itself, the ways it has been understood and its relationship to humanity. The book ranges from the debate over the 'death of tragedy' to a critique of modern virtue ethics, offers a new interpretation of the evil of Auschwitz and explores the work of thinkers who have seen our tragic being as inherently inconsolable. A Philosophy of Tragedy shows how tragedy has been and continues to be a crucial part of the modern human experience - one from which we should not avert our eyes.
Christopher Hamilton is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Religion at King's College London. He is the author of four books, including Living Philosophy: Reflections on Life, Meaning and Morality (2001) and How to Deal with Adversity (2014).