William James’s interest in psychical research is often treated as something of an anomaly. The fact that James took "that large group of debatable phenomena designated by such terms as ’mesmeric,’ ’psychical,’ and ’spiritualistic,’" seriously as a legitimate area of scientific inquiry seems slightly bemusing to our contemporary jaded ears. As a result, his writings collected in Essays in Psychical Research tend to be marginalized, even ignored by most serious James scholars. But American pragmatist communication theorist John Durham Peters, in (...) his innovative philosophical and cultural history of communication, Speaking into the Air, provides the key to a new appreciation of this oft-neglected work by asserting that, for James, "the question of communication was one of our time’s questions of faith." By this Peters means that James’s investigations were not simply about whether communication with the dead via mediums was scientifically possible but also and more fundamentally about the desire for authentic person-to-person or soul-to-soul connection across distances. As Peters reads James, the question of communication is fundamentally a religious one, involving issues of hope, trust, faith, and interpretation; James’s "concern was never to rule out the possibility of contact with the inhuman– beast or God." Why? Because of the difference that it made, the effects that it had. (shrink)
Professor Whitehead has provided a new translation of the five surviving forensic speeches of the Athenian lawyer-politician Hypereides. Hypereides' importance lies not only in his speeches, but also in his centrality in the political life of ancient Athens, as a contemporary of Demosthenes, and one of the canonical Ten Attic Orators. This book, which includes a general introduction and lavish historical and literary commentary, represents the first complete collection of Hypereides' works in any language.
William James, Pragmatism, and American Culture focuses on the work of William James and the relationship between the development of pragmatism and its historical, cultural, and political roots in 19th-century America. Deborah Whitehead reads pragmatism through the intersecting themes of narrative, gender, nation, politics, and religion. As she considers how pragmatism helps to explain the United States to itself, Whitehead articulates a contemporary pragmatism and shows how it has become a powerful and influential discourse in American intellectual and popular culture.
‘Hoplites are troops who take their name from their shields’. ‘The individual infantryman took his name, hoplites, from the hoplon or shield’. Such is the orthodox view. This paper will endeavour to show that its basis is inadequate. Rather, we shall argue, hoplites took their name from their arms and armour as a whole, their hopla in that all-encompassing sense; so that the original and essential meaning of the word hoplite was nothing more than ‘armed man’.
Near the end of the fifth book of Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle has a brief discussion of suicide, to illustrate the question of whether one can wrong one's self. Suicide, he declares, is not enjoined by law, and what law does not enjoin, it forbids. Thus the suicide does do wrong – but to whom or what? Surely the polis, not himself . δι κα πλις ζημιο, κα ις τιμα πρσεστι τ αυτν διαφθεραντι ς π πλιν δικοντι.
What we know of citizenship, marriage and political status in Athens in the fourth century suggests that they were matters of no little public concern governed by a body of law which left few, if any, significant loopholes or anomalies. The ‘descent group’ criterion for citizenship had triumphed over the possible alternatives. The fundament of the system was the Periklean law of 451/0, re-enacted in 403/2, and prescribing double endogamy — that is, citizen birth through both parents — as the (...) normal qualification for a citizen . Whether this fifth-century legislation declared mixed marriages positively invalid or merely deterred them indirectly, through the disabilities falling upon the children, remains unclear. It is certain, however, that by the time [Demosthenes] 59 was delivered, in the 340s, both the parties to and the accessories in such marriages were breaking the law. ‘At that time an alien who joined the oikos of a citizen as husband or wife could be prosecuted by graphe and, if found guilty, was sold as a slave; the citizen man who thus received an alien woman into his oikos as his wife was fined 1000 drachmas. A man who, acting as her kyrios, gave an alien woman to a citizen for marriage could also be prosecuted by graphe, and if he was found guilty he was disfranchised and his property was confiscated’. (shrink)
It seems to be widely agreed by modern scholars that when Solon created his four census-classes in early sixth-century Athens he gave to at least three of them – the ππες, the ζευγται and the θτες – names which were in pre-existing use there. But what, if so, did the names signify, before being assigned their new, official, quantitative Solonic sense? The archaic Athenian θτες were presumably recognizably akin to their Homeric and Hesiodic namesakes; and despite the etymological obscurity of (...) the word in any event, in practical terms it will have denoted men who by all relevant social, economic or military tests scored a negligible rating. In the case of higher scorers, however, it becomes important for us to discover precisely which criteria are being applied, and so it is the ππες and the ζευγται who have always posed the main interpretative puzzle. For the ζευγται Ehrenberg put it succinctly enough: ‘the zeugitai can be explained either as those who owned a pair of oxen under the yoke or those who are joined to their neighbours in the ranks of the phalanx’. Both these explanations – for convenience I shall call them the agricultural and the military – have indeed long had, and continue to have, their adherents. Most of the great nineteenth-century students of Staatsaltertümer took the agricultural line, usually without argument; and the standard lexica still do. In 1894, however, Conrad Cichorius made out a strong case for the military explanation, and he has had many followers, both witting and unwitting. (shrink)