Epochal Discordance

Hölderlin's Philosophy of Tragedy

By Véronique M. Fóti

Subjects: Aesthetics
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791468609, 155 pages, June 2007
Hardcover : 9780791468593, 155 pages, September 2006

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Table of contents

Prefatory Note

1. The Tragic Turning and Tragic Paradigm in Philosophy

2. Communing with the Pure Elements: The First Two Versions of The Death of Empedocles

3. Singularity and Reconciliation: The Third Version of The Death of Empedocles

4. Between Hölderlin’s Empedocles and Empedocles of Akragas

5. The Faithless Turning: Hölderlin’s Reading of Oedipus Tyrannos

6. Dys-Limitation and the “Patriotic Turning”: Sophocles’s Antigone

7. From an Agonistic of Powers to a Homecoming: Heidegger, Hölderlin, and Sophocles

Index of Persons 
Index of Topics

Examines the German poet Hölderlin’s philosophical insights into tragedy.


Friedrich Hölderlin must be considered not only a significant poet but also a philosophically important thinker within German Idealism. In both capacities, he was crucially preoccupied with the question of tragedy, yet, surprisingly, this book is the first in English to explore fully his philosophy of tragedy. Focusing on the thought of Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Reiner Schürmann, Véronique M. Fóti discusses the tragic turning in German philosophy that began at the close of the eighteenth century to provide a historical and philosophical context for an engagement with Hölderlin. She goes on to examine the three fragmentary versions of Hölderlin's own tragedy, The Death of Empedocles, together with related essays, and his interpretation of Sophoclean tragedy. Fóti also addresses the relationship of his character Empedocles to the pre-Socratic philosopher and concludes by examining Heidegger's dialogue with Hölderlin concerning tragedy and the tragic.

Véronique M. Fóti is Professor of Philosophy at Penn State at University Park and the author of Vision’s Invisibles: Philosophical Explorations, also published by SUNY Press, and Heidegger and the Poets: Poiēsis/Sophia/Technē..