The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy (Updated)



This book is a study of ancient views about "moral luck." It examines the fundamental ethical problem that many of the valued constituents of a well-lived life are vulnerable to factors outside a person's control, and asks how this affects our appraisal of persons and their lives. The Greeks made a profound contribution to these questions, yet neither the problems nor the Greek views of them have received the attention they deserve. This updated edition contains a new preface.

Product Details

$39.99  $36.79
Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
April 19, 2001
6.0 X 1.4 X 8.9 inches | 1.8 pounds
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About the Author

Martha C. Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, appointed in the Law School and the Philosophy Department. Among her many awards are the 2018 Berggruen Prize, the 2017 Don M. Randel Award for Humanistic Studies from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the 2016 Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy.


"This is an immensely rich and stimulating book. This is partly because the author combines to a rare degree qualities not often found together: a scholar's understanding of the text with rigour of argument, and these together with an imaginative grasp of moral questions. But it is also because she has chosen to write a very ambitious book, to grapple with some fundamental, perennial issues....It should change the tenor of debate in more than one field." Charles Taylor, Canadian Journal of Philosophy
"√ĚNussbaum's¬® book still has much to offer." BMCR
"Over fifteen years since its first appearance, this work is still of interest to literary critics, philosophers and intellectual historians alike." Patrick O'Sullivan, University of Cantebury, Christchurch, NZ
"[Nussbaum's] book still has much to offer." BMCR