Ancient Tragedy and the Origins of Modern Science


Through a close reading of Sophocles' Ajax, Descartes' Discourse on Method, and Plato's Meno, Davis argues that ancient tragedy and modern science are alternative responses to the human longing for autonomy or striving to be a god.

Tragic heroes assume that through politics they can exert more control over the world than the world will allow. To them the whole world is politics, or polis. Scientists seek to control by mastering nature, which, in essence, means to transform the whole of the world into a Polis. Thus the issues and motivations in modern science were already present in ancient tragedy.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • George Kimball Plochmann
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Carbondale, IL
Publication year:
  • 1988


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