Greek Ideals: A Study of Social Life

By C. Delisle Burns | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
THE PHILOSOPHERS

THE two great Athenian philosophers of the fourth century accept in part, systematize and develop, the Athenian ideals of life and character. They also point beyond such ideals to others of a more complex and perhaps less practical kind. But in the main Plato and Aristotle are Athenian. Even in their criticism of Athens they belong to her rather than to Sparta. They were directly influenced by the customs and beliefs of Athens and they were recognized as important by contemporary Athenians.

In our time the philosopher often belongs to a small and exclusive class of "wise" men. Their controversies leave the average man cold, even when he hears of their existence. Their conclusions have no immediate effects upon ordinary life, and the average man is hardly aware of the names of those who teach or study philosophy. On the other hand the philosopher in modern times is hardly at all influenced by the current habits of thought or action. Perhaps he does not even meet men of the poorer classes, and he seldom condescends to speak of his subject with the ordinary educated man. His ethics and his metaphysics are not immediately

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Greek Ideals: A Study of Social Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Greek Ideals i
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents xi
  • Greek Ideals 1
  • Chapter II - The Anthesteria 13
  • Chapter III The Panathenaia 22
  • Chapter IV The Dionysia 39
  • Chapter V The Eleusinia 51
  • Chapter VI Politics 72
  • Chapter VII 98
  • Chapter VIII The Fifth Century 115
  • Chapter IX The Old School 132
  • Chapter X Socrates 162
  • Chapter XI The Philosophers 192
  • Chapter XII Plato on Right Action 200
  • Chapter XIII Plato on the Ideal Man 213
  • Chapter XIV Plato on Education 230
  • Chapter XV Plato on the Ideal Society 241
  • Chapter XVII The Afterglow 293
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