Theorists in various scientific disciplines offer radically different accounts of the origin of violent behavior in humans, but it is not clear how the study of violence is to be scientifically grounded. This problem is made more complicated because both what sorts of acts constitute violence and what needs to be appealed to in explaining violence differs according to social scientists, biologists, anthropologists and neurophysiologists, and this generates serious problems with respect to even attempting to ascertain the differential bona fides (...) of these various explanatory programs. As a consequence, there is little theoretical reason to suspect that efforts to prevent violence will have any appreciable effect. In this paper we investigate the general issue of whether any of the general theoretical approaches to violent behavior can reasonably be taken to be the best approach to the explanation of seriously violent behavior. Our more specific aim is to examine the controversial explanation of violent behavior offered by LonnieAthens in order to ascertain whether it can be seriously considered to be the best explanation of violent behavior. (shrink)
Abstract: Socrates was both a loyal citizen (by his own lights) and a critic of the democratic community's way of doing things. This led to a crisis in 339 B.C. In order to understand Socrates' and the Athenian community's actions (as reported by Plato and Xenophon) it is necessary to understand the historical and legal contexts, the democratic state's commitment to the notion that citizens are resonsible for the effects of their actions, and Socrates' reasons for preferring to live in (...)Athens rather than in states that might (by his lights) have had substantively better legal systems. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Responding to oligarchy in Athens: an introduction; 2. Revolution, oligarchy and the patrios politeia; 3. Restoring Athens: democracy and law; 4. Reclaiming Athens: the demos and the city; 5. Remembering and forgetting: rituals and the demos; 6. The Thirty and the law; 7. Reconciling the Athenians; 8. Recreating democracy: documents and the law; 9. The agora and the democratic city; 10. Forgetting or remembering: oligarchy, stasis and the demos; 11. The strategies of (...) democracy. (shrink)
In his excellent book Democracy and Knowledge: Innovation and Learning in Classical Athens Josiah Ober argues that ancient Athenian democracy surmounted the dangers of political ignorance and made effective use of dispersed citizen knowledge to forge good public policy. He effectively demonstrates that Athenian democracy was more successful than the oligarchic and tyrannical governments of rival Greek city-states. He also shows how Athenian institutions worked to reduce the dangers of political ignorance. On the other hand, Ober is less successful (...) in showing that the relatively impressive performance of Athenian democracy should lead us to be optimistic about today’s democratic states. Indeed, his account suggests that Athens’ success in overcoming political ignorance was in large part the result of two important ways in which it differed from modern democracies: the small size of its electorate and the very narrow range of functions performed by its government. (shrink)
The arrival of the Sophists in Athens in the middle of the fifth century B.C. was a major intellectual event, for they brought with them a new method of teaching founded on rhetoric and bold doctrines which broke away from tradition. In this book de Romilly investigates the reasons for the initial success of the Sophists and the reaction against them, in the context of the culture and civilization of classical Athens.
Classical Athens provides a historical case study of effective joint action by a democratic community, at scale, over time, and across a socially and epistemically diverse population. Athens was concerned both with aggregating diverse knowledge for decision-making and with building common knowledge for coordinated joint action. A preserved prosecution speech delivered in an Athenian treason trial reveals how common knowledge was generated by democratic institutions and employed in legal arguments. Common knowledge facilitated eff ective coordination among citizens through (...) productive alignment cascades. Yet Athenian lawcourt procedures rendered cascading difficult, pointing to an institutionalized awareness that coordination among jurors might violate fairness as equality before the law; such violations threatened democratic values and the equilibrium between elite and non-elite citizens. Common knowledge was promoted by repeated public rituals, public monuments, and public architecture that allowed for the interpresence of large numbers of deliberative and intervisible citizens. (shrink)
Classical Presences Series Editors: Lorna Hardwick, Professor of Classical Studies, Open University, and James I. Porter, Professor of Greek, Latin, and Comparative Literature, University of Michigan The texts, ideas, images, and material culture of ancient Greece and Rome have always been crucial to attempts to appropriate the past in order to authenticate the present. They underlie the mapping of change and the assertion and challenging of values and identities, old and new. Classical Presences brings the latest scholarship to bear on (...) the contexts, theory, and practice of such use, and abuse, of the classical past. Athens in Paris explores the ways in which the writings of the ancient Greeks played a decisive part in shaping the intellectual projects of structuralism and post-structuralism--arguably the most significant currents of thought of the post-war era. Miriam Leonard argues that thinkers in post-war France turned to the example of Athenian democracy in their debates over the role of political subjectivity and ethical choice in the life of the modern citizen. The authors she investigates, who include Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, and Vernant, have had an incalculable influence on the direction of classical studies over the last thirty years, but classicists have yet to give due attention to the crucial role of the ancient world in the development of their philosophy. (shrink)
The ancient lawgiver Solon of Athens left norms of proper conduct that carry important ethical implications for all manner of human affairs, including commercial activities and the pursuit of wealth. In his extant poetry, he emphasizes the strong connections between individual virtue and its consequences in the social and political sphere. In considering the proper means of obtaining material wealth, he describes multiple ways to earn a living and connects them to proper intellectual and ethical dispositions through a concept (...) of justice. This focus on virtue establishes a long-range ethics that is based on a principle of justice, demands rational intellectual activity, and carries implications for everyone’s self-interest. Solon’s concern for matters of virtue, the proper means of attaining wealth, and the need for long-range awareness of consequences offers a valuable point of historical focus for our own examinations of business ethics today. (shrink)
This paper seeks to steer a way between a dogmatic and a skeptical reading of the Meno by taking up the performative dimension of Socrates’ responseto Meno. How does the philosophical inquiry into the definition of virtue promise to radicalize Meno’s alleged concern with the genesis of virtue? The paper shows that Socrates is acting, in a way, as an educator, in the sense that he attempts to awaken Meno to the task of self-knowledge as it bears upon the possibility (...) of virtue in his own life. Thus, a dogmatic response to Meno’s question could not succeed in interrupting his tendentious memorizing approach to philosophical questions. But the paper also develops this reading by retracing the way in which nature undergoes a transformation, or a doubling, during the course of the dialogue. It becomes evident that the apparently inconclusive answer at the end of the dialogue, which states that the origin of virtue is to be found in “divine dispensation” and “correct opinion,” is only understandable in light of this transformation or doubling of nature that is made manifest dialogically andmythically in Socrates’ interaction with the young and handsome Meno. Socrates thus appears as a kind of “Teiresias in Athens,” but his clear failure inimpacting Meno in any lasting way only demonstrates that the possibility of political health is irreducible to any and all technical production. (shrink)
At once photographic analysis, philosophical essay, and autobiographical narrative, Athens, Still Remains presents an original theory of photography and throws a fascinating light on Derrida's life and work.The book begins with a sort of ...
The background to the regime : Demetrius of Phalerum's early years. The years in obscurity : the reigns of Philip, Alexander, and the age of Lycurgus -- Demetrius' rise to prominence : Athens after Alexander -- The decade of Demetrius : some introductory observations -- Demetrius the law-giver : the moral programme. Burial laws -- The gunaikonomoi and their laws -- The nomophulakes -- Demetrius and the ephêbeia -- The laws : an interpretation and discussion of the historical context (...) -- The institutions of democracy. The citizen body -- The assembly and council -- Elections and the archonship -- Jurisdiction in the courts : the graphê paranomôn and eisangelia -- The Areopagus -- The Athenian institutions : a summary -- Festivals and finances : the economic administration of Athens. Demetrius and the khorêgeia -- The other liturgies -- The Athenian economy, 317-307 -- Philosophy and the Phalerean regime. Demetrius' laws and the Peripatos -- The philosophical schools and political calumny -- Demetrius : orator, peripatetic, and patron of philosophers -- Athens and Cassander. The years 317-307 : a narrative history -- Athenian foreign policy under Demetrius of Phalerum -- Conclusion -- Appendix 1. The literary sources for the regime of Demetrius -- Appendix 2. Gunaikonomoi & nomophulakes : a comparison -- Appendix 3. The duties of the gunaikonomoi : a rejected suggestion. (shrink)
'a brilliant introduction to the Sophists of fifth-century Athens and a major reinterpretation of the goals and effects of their thought. Engagingly written, this eminently accessible account deserves lasting popularity.' Choice -/- 'This is a fine work, indispensable for any study of Socrates, the Sophists or Plato . . . the interest of de Romilly's book lies not only with the combination of enthusiasm and sound scholarship in the use of a wide range of texts, but also in the (...) general and continuing problems of dialogue between thinkers ahead of their times and their contemporary public.' Phronesis -/- 'a vigorous and stimulating book which richly deserves to be made available to an English-speaking readership.' Classical Review -/- 'now available in this smooth and readable translation . . . a lively and engaging introduction to the Sophistic movement. While Great Sophists is written primarily for a general educated audience, scholars will find much of interest in de Romilly's reconstruction of the age of the Sophists. De Romilly deserves much credit for bringing a remarkable immediacy to the subject . . . Classicists and the general public should appreciate this new and controversial assessment of the Sophistic movement.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review -/- 'It was a happy idea of the Oxford University Press to commission an English translation from Janet Lloyd, the premier translator of major French work in ancient Greek cultural studies . . . Lloyd's version is not merely accurate and fluent but faithful also to the effervescent (lan of the original' Times Literary Supplement -/- 'compelling . . . Exquisite nuance informs both writing and translation' Religious Studies Review. (shrink)
Some writers have so confounded government with society, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government (...) even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one ... (shrink)
The present article is devoted to the problem which is debated actively to-day, namely whether Greek poleis and the Roman Republic were early states or they represented a specific type of stateless societies. In particular, Moshe Berent examines this problem by the example of Athens in his contribution to this volume. He arrives at the conclusion that Athens was a stateless society. However, I am of the opinion that this conclusion is wrong: and I believe that Athens (...) and Rome were early states. Therefore the present article is in many respects a direct discussion with Berent (as well as with other supporters of this idea). (shrink)
A comparative study of Plato's "Republic" and Rozenzweig's "Stern der Eriösung" proposed that the way of speaking determines which reality can be spoken and what types of relationality are possible. Rhetorical analysis shows that Plato's philosophy of language, in contrast to Rozenzweig's, undervalues the relational possibilities of time, alterity, and language. This is revealed through a study of the place and significance of the genera of arts for thinking and society.
The Annual European Meeting of the Association for Symbolic Logic, generally known as the Logic Colloquium, is the most prestigious annual meeting in the field. Many of the papers presented there are invited surveys of recent developments. Highlights of this volume from the 2005 meeting include three papers on different aspects of connections between model theory and algebra; a survey of recent major advances in combinatorial set theory; a tutorial on proof theory and modal logic; and a description of Bernay's (...) philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)