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Eclipse of Action – Tragedy and Political Economy | Chicago Scholarship Online
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Eclipse of Action: Tragedy and Political Economy

Richard Halpern


Eclipse of Action takes up the long-standing claim that tragic drama and modern society are somehow inimical. It proposes that tragedy does indeed face new, if not quite disabling, challenges in the modern era, and that these arise from an unexpected quarter: the birth of political economy in the eighteenth century. Classical philosophers such as Aristotle had argued that human happiness or unhappiness results from our actions in the ethical and political spheres. Accordingly, Aristotle also designated action as the source of tragedy’s ethical significance and artistic perfection. Adam’s Smith ... More

Keywords: tragedy, drama, theater, political economy, economics, action, philosophy, society, politics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780226433653
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226433790.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Richard Halpern, author
New York University