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Wounded Heroes: Vulnerability as a Virtue in Ancient Greek Literature and Philosophy

Marina Berzins McCoy


Vulnerability is not often associated with virtue. Yet to be vulnerable is central to human experience. In this book, McCoy examines ways in which Greek epic, tragedy, and philosophy have important insights to offer about the nature of human vulnerability and how human beings might better come to terms with their own vulnerability. While studies of Greek heroism and virtue often focus on strength of character, prowess in war, or the achievement of honour for oneself or one’s society, McCoy examines another side to Greek thought that extols the recognition and proper acceptance of vulnerability ... More

Keywords: vulnerability, virtue, wounds, suffering, tragedy, Greek philosophy, Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Homer

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199672783
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672783.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Marina Berzins McCoy, author
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Boston College