Tragedy as an Independent Real-World Phenomenon

The Interdisciplinary Journal of Human and Social Studies, Vol.2, issue 3, p.15-25, 2023
9 Downloads, 49 views
  • Research paper


Tragedies, as real-world phenomena, are independent of their literary genre and are suitable for philosophical analysis. My analysis focuses on a type of tragedy that emerges in the practical lives of individuals in a broad sense. Tragedies often manifest in mundane, everyday situations. However, the fact that a situation is tragic does not mean that any unfortunate event that happens to an individual qualifies as a tragedy, nor does it imply that any practical pursuit is a tragic candidate. Instead, these practical tragedies occur when the world obstructs pursuits that are fundamentally valuable. Tragedies are frequently dramatized in specific contexts such as moral dilemmas and historical calamities. Yet, these are merely instances of how the world can oppose what matters more universally.


Practical Tragedies, Fundamental Values, Moral Dilemmas, Historical Calamities


Aristotle. (1968). Poetics (D. W. Lucas, Ed.). Oxford University Press.

Ebels-Duggan, K. (2008). Against beneficence: A normative account of love. Ethics, 119(1), 142-170.

Hegel, G. W. F. (2018). Phenomenology of Spirit (T. Pinkard, Ed. & Trans.). Cambridge University Press.

Hill, T. E. (2015). Human dignity and tragic choices. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, 89, 74-97.

Hume, D. (1874-75). Of tragedy. In T. H. Green & T. H. Grose (Eds.), The philosophical works of David Hume (Vol. 3). Longman, Green.

Kaufmann, W. J. (1992). Tragedy and philosophy. Princeton University Press.

Nietzsche, F. (2002). The birth of tragedy and other writings (R. Geuss & R. Speirs, Eds. & Trans.). Cambridge University Press.

Nussbaum, M. (2000). The costs of tragedy: Some moral limits of cost-benefit analysis. The Journal of Legal Studies, 29(2), 1005-1036.

Nussbaum, M. (2000). Women and human development: The capabilities approach. Cambridge University Press.

Richardson, H. (1994). Practical reasoning about final ends. Cambridge University Press.

Schiller, F. (1993). On the art of tragedy. In D. O. Dahlstrom & W. Hinderer (Eds.), Essays. Continuum.

Schopenhauer, A. (1966). The world as will and representation (E. F. J. Payne, Trans.) (3rd ed.). Dover.

Sen, A. (1987). Equality of what? In J. Rawls & S. M. McMurrin (Eds.), Liberty, equality, and law: Selected Tanner lectures on moral philosophy. University of Utah Press, 141.

Van Bommel, M., et al. (2012). Be aware to care: Public self-awareness leads to a reversal of the bystander effect. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48(4), 926-930.

Wiggins, D. (1998). Weakness of will, commensurability, and the objects of deliberation and desire. In Needs, values, truth: Essays in the philosophy of value. Oxford University Press.

Williams, B. (2011). Ethics and the limits of philosophy. Routledge.


Publication date:

3 November 2023

Subscribe for latest updates

Indie folks start out by making something they want to read, that tell stories they want told..