Destiny Domesticated

The Rebirth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Technology

By Jos de Mul
Translated by Bibi van den Berg
Assisted by Bibi van den Berg

Subjects: Science And Technology, Philosophy, Literary Criticism, Spirituality
Paperback : 9781438449722, 358 pages, January 2015
Hardcover : 9781438449715, 358 pages, March 2014

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Table of contents

1. Destiny Domesticated
2. Chance Living
3. Fatal Politics
4. The (Non-)Reproducibility of the Tragic
5. The Art of Suffering
6. Awesome Technologies
7. Tragic Parenthood
8. Fateful Machines
9. Exodus
Works Cited
Name Index
Subject Index

Analyzes contemporary technological society through the lens of Greek tragedy.


Destiny Domesticated investigates three ways Western civilization has tried to tame fate: the heroic affirmation of fate in the tragic culture of the Greeks, the humble acceptance of divine providence in Christianity, and the abolition of fate in modern technological society. Against this background, Jos de Mul argues that the uncontrollability of technology introduces its own tragic dimension to our culture. Considering a range of literary texts and contemporary events, and drawing on twenty-five centuries of tragedy interpretation from philosophers such as Aristotle, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, literary critics George Steiner and Terry Eagleton, and others, de Mul articulates a contemporary perspective on the tragic, shedding new light on philosophical topics such as free will, determinism, and the contingency of life.

Jos de Mul is Full Professor of Philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He is the author of Cyberspace Odyssey: Towards a Virtual Ontology and Anthropology; The Tragedy of Finitude: Dilthey's Hermeneutics of Life; and Romantic Desire in (Post)modern Art and Philosophy, also published by SUNY Press.