Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Prometheus through the ages
Author: Franssen, Trijsje Marie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 356X
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This dissertation explores the role and significance of the ancient Greek myth of Prometheus in Western philosophy from Antiquity to today. Paying particular attention to its moral and existential meanings, an analysis of this in-depth investigation produces an overview of the exceptional array of the myth’s functions and themes. It demonstrates that the most significant functions of the Prometheus myth are its social, epistemic, ontological and moral functions and that the myth’s most significant themes are fire, rebellion, creation, human nature and ambiguity. The dissertation argues that this analysis brings to light meaningful information on two sides of a reference to the Prometheus myth: it reveals the nature, functions, themes and connotations of the myth, while information about these functions and themes provides access to fundamental meanings, moral statements and ontological concepts of the studied author. Based on its findings this work claims that, as in history, first, the Prometheus myth will still be meaningful in philosophy today; and second, that the analysis of the myth’s functions and themes will provide access to essential ideas underlying contemporary references to the myth. To prove the validity of these claims this thesis examines the contemporary debate on ‘human enhancement’. Advocates as well as opponents of enhancement make use of the Prometheus myth in order to support their arguments. Employing the acquired knowledge about the myth’s functions and themes, the dissertation analyses the references encountered. The results of this analysis confirm that the Prometheus myth still has a significant role in a contemporary philosophical context. They improve our understanding of the philosophical argument, ontological framework and ethics of the debate’s participants; and thus demonstrate that the information about the Prometheus myth acquired in this thesis is a useful means to reveal fundamental ideas and conceptualisations underlying contemporary (and possibly future) references to the myth.
Supervisor: Hauskeller, Michael Sponsor: School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Exeter
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Human Nature ; History of Philosophy ; Mythology ; Philosophical Anthropology ; Myth of Prometheus ; Human Enhancement ; Posthuman ; Transhumanism ; Philosophy of Science ; Literature ; Science Fiction