Critical Horizons 23 (1):44-54 (2022)

ABSTRACT This article investigates social critique in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. Two famous Thucydidean episodes are in focus: the Mytilenean Debate in Book III and the Melian Dialogue in Book V of the History. These episodes are interpreted here as inquiries assuming the shape of subversive and transformative social criticism: immanent critique. Immanent critique aims at shifting horizons of meaning in social contexts, and the philosophers practicing this kind of social criticism understand themselves as physicians of a failing society. In Thucydides’ work, a particular object of criticism is formed by varying dominant social and moral ordering principles. In the Mytilenean Debate, it is the principle of expediency that rules, whereas in the Melian Dialogue the governing normative ordering principle is that of safety and survival. In each episode, a contending perspective is introduced for the purpose of undermining the dominating principle.
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DOI 10.1080/14409917.2022.2054184
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References found in this work BETA

The Conditions of Immanent Critique.Alexei Procyshyn - 2022 - Critical Horizons 23 (1):22-43.
Cleon's Ethopoetics.James A. Andrews - 1994 - Classical Quarterly 44 (01):26-.
The Humanitarian Aspect of the Melian Dialogue.A. B. Bosworth - 1993 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 113:30-44.

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