Greek Ideals: A Study of Social Life

Greek Ideals: A Study of Social Life

Greek Ideals: A Study of Social Life

Greek Ideals: A Study of Social Life

Excerpt

This book contains no reference which will be new to scholars and no subversively new conclusions drawn from the old evidence. It is an attempt at nothing more than an analysis of some of the ideals which are usually called Greek. And, as will be easily seen, Greek in this sense means Athenian. A short explanation then is needed, both of what is here meant by an ideal and of the limitations here imposed on the word Greek. The life of every people, in so far as it is not simply formed by circumstances, is governed by their ideals. An ideal is less violent and less unconsidered than a desire or an expectation, and thus it may have less place than passion in moving men to action. But the action to which it moves is progressive, whereas the violence of passion or the inconsiderateness of expectation, may destroy almost as often as it urges men forward. An ideal is an emotionally coloured conception of a state of things which would be better than the present. It is, in a sense, intellectual because it is due to a perception . . .

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