Philoctetes is not the best-known Sophocles tragedy, but its questions stick with me.  When the title character insists on his dignity as a man of war, he runs afoul of the Odysseus of Sophocles, who could not care less about the wounded warrior’s sense of being wronged, so he enlists Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, who insists that abstract virtues of war must govern everything that concerns the struggle.  I won’t spoil the ending of Philoctetes today, but I will say that conflicting values have not become any less interesting in the two and a half millennia since.  Dr. Valerie Tiberius has brought that conversation off the mythological battlefield and into the very real tensions between money and reputation and peace of mind and different kinds of abstract principles in her recent book What Do You Want out of Life, and Christian Humanist Profiles is glad to welcome her to the show. 

One thought on “Christian Humanist Profiles 248: What Do You Want out of Life?”
  1. I always enjoy when someone mentions Philoctetes. It is a very underrated piece of literature that should be studied.

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