In the Name of Community: Duty in Henrik Ibsen’s The Pillars of Society

Translated Titles





張美芳(Mei-Fang Chang)

Key Words

Henrik Ibsen ; The Pillars of Society ; Kantian duty ; community ; "a realm of ends" ; 亨利克.易卜生 ; 《社會支柱》 ; 康德責任觀 ; 社群 ; 「目的國度」



Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

27卷2期(2018 / 06 / 01)

Page #

1 - 30

Content Language


Chinese Abstract

Using Immanuel Kant's concepts of duty and community to read Henrik Ibsen's The Pillars of Society (1877), this essay examines the two male social pillars in the play -- one bourgeois and one working class -- who both claim to do their duty to the community, but who turn out to be moral egoists in their complicity with the coerciveness of industrial capitalism. By paralleling a dramatic/ literary text with philosophical reasoning, the essay shows the extent to which an appreciation of Ibsen's dramatic artistry can be empowered by a Kantian moral philosophy, a generic and cross-disciplinary blending that might encourage readers/ audiences to contemplate the true meaning of a citizen's duty, and to call attention to Ibsen's deepening reference to truth and freedom as the ultimate forces to envision the likelihood of a Kantian "realm of ends," i.e., an ethical community, in the modern world.

English Abstract

本文意圖透過伊曼努爾.康德(Immanuel Kant)的責任觀及社群理念來解讀亨利克.易卜生(Henrik Ibsen)劇作《社會支柱》(The Pillars of Society)裡的兩位象徵人物,一位來自中產階級,另一位來自勞工階級。儘管這兩位社會支柱各自宣稱他們的所作所為皆是出於對其所屬社群應負的責任,但實際上,他們卻是道貌岸然,與工業資本主義互相掛勾、共謀利益分贓的利己主義者。藉由將戲劇文本與哲學論述參照對比,本文企圖顯示透過康德的道德哲學觀更能強化與感受易卜生的戲劇藝術張力。而這樣跨界、跨領域的交融,更能激發讀者及觀眾對於公民責任的反思,進而體會易卜生深意點明出真理與自由乃是現代世界邁向如同康德的「目的國度」,亦即倫理社群願景的關鍵驅動力。

Topic Category 人文學 > 中國文學
人文學 > 外國文學
人文學 > 藝術
  1. Brekke, Øystein(2016).Bonfire of the Vanities: Moral Dynamics in Ibsen's Brand.Ibsen Studies,16(1),3-36.
  2. Clurman, Harold(1977).Ibsen.London:Macmillan.
  3. Downs, Brian W.(1978).Ibsen: The Intellectual Background.New York:Octagon.
  4. Eide, Tom. “Ibsen's Ethical Method.” N.p., n.d. Web. 1-10. 10 Aug. 2018. .
  5. Engstrom, Stephen(1992).The Concept of the Highest Good in Kant's Moral Philosophy.Philosophy and Phenomenological Research,52(4),747-80.
  6. Epstein, B. J.(ed.)(2014).Truth North: Literary Translation in the Nordic Countries.Newcastle upon Tyne:Cambridge Scholars.
  7. Ferguson, Robert(2010).Henrik Ibsen: A New Biography.London:Faber and Faber.
  8. Fulsås, Narve(2011).Ibsen Misrepresented: Canonization, Oblivion, and the Need for History.Ibsen Studies,11(1),3-20.
  9. Gerland, Oliver W., III.(1990).The Lacanian Imaginary in Ibsen's Pillars of Society and The Wild Duck.Comparative Drama,24(4),342-62.
  10. Gosse, Edmund. Literary Lives: Henrik Ibsen. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908. Print.
  11. Hemmer, Bjørn(ed.),Ystad, Vigdis(ed.)(1994).Contemporary Approaches to Ibsen.Oslo:Scandinavian UP.
  12. Herman, Barbara(1981).On the Value of Acting from the Motive of Duty.The Philosophical Review,90(3),359-82.
  13. Hornby, Richard(1981).Patterns in Ibsen's Middle Plays.London:Associated UP.
  14. Ibsen, Henrik,Meyer, Michael(Trans. intro.)(2000).Ibsen Plays: Four: The Pillars of Society, John Gabriel Borkman, When We Dead Awaken.London:Methuen.
  15. Ibsen, Henrik,Meyer, Michael(Trans. intro.)(2006).Ibsen Plays: Plays: Two: A Doll's House, An Enemy of the People, Hedda Gabler.London:Methuen.
  16. Janik, Allan(2001).Wittgenstein's Vienna Revisited.New Jersey:Transaction.
  17. Johnsen, William A.(2003).Violence and Modernism: Ibsen, Joyce, and Woolf.Gainesville:UP of Florida.
  18. Johnsen, William A.(1996).Ibsen's Drama of Self-Sacrifice.Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture,3,141-61.
  19. Johnston, Brian(1989).Text and Supertext in Ibsen's Drama.University Park:Pennsylvania State UP.
  20. Johnston, Brian(1992).The Ibsen Cycle: The Design of the Plays from Pillars of Society to When We Dead Awaken.University Park:Pennsylvania State UP.
  21. Kant, Immanuel,Gregor, Mary(ed. trans.)(2000).The Metaphysics of Morals.Cambridge:Cambridge UP.
  22. Kant, Immanuel,Gregor, Mary(ed. trans.),Sullivan, Roger J.(Intro. )(2000).The Metaphysics of Morals.Cambridge:Cambridge UP.
  23. Kant, Immanuel,Heath, Peter(ed.),Schneewind, J. B.(ed.)(1997).Lectures on Ethics.Cambridge:Cambridge UP.
  24. Kant, Immanuel,Wood, A. W.(ed. trans.)(2002).Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.New Haven:Yale UP.
  25. Krasner, David(2012).A History of Modern Drama.Chichester:Wiley-Blackwell.
  26. Kutz, Christopher(2000).Complicity: Ethics and Law for a Collective Age.Cambridge:Cambridge UP.
  27. MacFarlane, James(ed.)(1994).The Cambridge Companion to Ibsen.Cambridge:Cambridge UP.
  28. McFarlane, James(1989).Ibsen & Meaning: Studies, Essays and Prefaces 1953-87.Norwich:Norvik.
  29. Moi, Toril(2006).Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism: Art, Theater, Philosophy.Oxford:Oxford UP.
  30. Moore, Jennifer(1992).Kant's Ethical Community.The Journal of Value Inquiry,26(1),51-71.
  31. Moretti, Franco(2010).The Grey Area: Ibsen and the Spirit of Capitalism.New Left Review,61(1),117-31.
  32. Nygaard, Jon(2014).The Wilder the Starting Point: Some Critical Remarks to Michael Meyer's Ibsen: A Biography.Scandinavian Studies,86(1),72-97.
  33. Ólafsson, Trausti(2008).Ibsen's Theatre of Ritualistic Visions: An Interdisciplinary Study of Ten Plays.Berlin:Peter Lang.
  34. Özdemir, Erinç(2014).The Chronotopic Dynamics of Ibsen's Pillars of Society: The Triumph of Industrialism, or How Drama Becomes History.Modern Drama,57(2),143-64.
  35. Payne, Charlton(ed.),Thorpe, Lucas(ed.)(2011).Kant and the Concept of Community.Rochester:U of Rochester P.
  36. Rhodes, Norman(1995).Ibsen and the Greeks: The Classical Greek Dimension in Selected Works of Henrik Ibsen as Mediated by German and Scandinavian Culture.London:Associated UP.
  37. Shideler, Ross(1997).Darwin, Weak Men, Strong Women and Ibsen's Pillars of Society.Comparative Literature Studies,34(3),242-59.
  38. Templeton, Joan(2000).Ibsen's Women.Cambridge:Cambridge UP.
  39. Templeton, Joan(2007).Advocacy and Ambivalence in Ibsen's Drama.Ibsen Studies,7(1),43-60.
  40. Van Laan, Thomas F.(2006).Ibsen and Nietzsche.Scandinavian Studies,78(3),255-302.
  41. Vardoulakis, Dimitris(2009).Spectres of Duty: Silence in Ibsen's Ghosts.Orbis Litterarum,64(1),50-74.
  42. Vial, Fernand,Barral, Mary-Rose(ed.)(2009).The Unconscious in Philosophy, and French and European Literature: Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century.Amsterdam:Rodopi.
  43. Weininger, Otto. Sex and Character. London: William Heinemann, 1906. Print.
  44. Williams, Raymond(1952).Drama from Ibsen to Brecht.London:Hogarth.
  45. Wood, Allen W.(1999).Kant's Ethical Thought.Cambridge:Cambridge UP.
  46. Zöller, Günter(ed.),Louden, Robert B.(ed.),Gregor, Mary(trans.)(2009).Anthropology, History, and Education.Cambridge:Cambridge UP.