By Michael Davis
Via a detailed examining of Sophocles’ Ajax, Descartes’ Discourse on strategy, and Plato's Meno, Davis argues that old tragedy and glossy technological know-how are substitute responses to the human eager for autonomy or striving to be a god.Tragic heroes think that via politics they could exert extra regulate over the area than the realm will let. To them the full international is politics, or polis. Scientists search to manage via learning nature, which, in essence, capacity to remodel the complete of the area right into a Polis. therefore the problems and motivations in smooth technological know-how have been already found in old tragedy.
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Additional resources for Ancient tragedy and the origins of modern science
Only from the perspective of the body as a whole is it possible to talk about health and disease, but then it becomes necessary to find a standard outside of the body to support the distinction between noble and base. Eryximachus must therefore change his ground. The body is not the lover and repletion and evacuation the beloveds; rather, within the body is an opposition of lovers. Medicine has as its task the harmonizing of this opposition. However, none of the elements within the body, strictly speaking, love this harmony which is thus not a natural beloved, but, as the result of techne*, artificial.
Since he has not done what he thought himself to have done, when he regains his sanity he will be doubly ashamed; to become aware of Athena's deception is to become aware that her sort of battle is superior to his, that the mind is stronger than the body. Page 19 But if that is so, if the inside is stronger than the outside, then Ajax was rightly denied Achilles' armor. This is the second cause of his shame. Ajax lost to the wily Odysseus in the contest of arms even though he was by general agreement the stronger fighter.
The play begins with this strange ambiguity. We thought we knew what Odysseus was doing, but what he intends is not at all clear. He may have to rely on signs to know the inside of Ajax, but we are in a similar position with regard to Odysseus. Athena restrains Odysseus with her voice, with speech, while in the Iliad (Book I, 197) she had restrained Achilles with a combination of force and speech, pulling him by the hair to prevent him from killing Agamemnon. Ajax apparently cannot be restrained by his inside through speech, but only by a vision, by transforming the outside so that his action is not what he intended it to be.