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By Takis Poulakos, David Depew

ISBN-10: 0292702191

ISBN-13: 9780292702196

ISBN-10: 0292797486

ISBN-13: 9780292797482

Civic advantage and the kind of schooling that produces publicly minded voters turned an issue of discussion in American political discourse of the Eighties, because it as soon as used to be one of the intelligentsia of Classical Athens. Conservatives reminiscent of former nationwide Endowment for the arts chairman William Bennett and his successor Lynn Cheney held up the Greek thinker Aristotle because the version of a public-spirited, virtue-centred civic educator. yet in keeping with the members during this quantity, a more true version, either in his personal time and for ours, is Isocrates, one of many pre-eminent highbrow figures in Greece throughout the fourth century B.C.In this quantity, ten major students of Classics, rhetoric, and philosophy supply a path-finding interdisciplinary learn of Isocrates as a civic educator. Their essays are grouped into sections that examine Isocrates' programme in civic schooling usually (J. Ober, T. Poulakos) and compared to the Sophists (J. Poulakos, E. Haskins), Plato (D. Konstan, okay. Morgan), Aristotle (D. Depew, E. Garver), and modern perspectives approximately civic schooling (R. Hariman, M. Leff). The participants convey that Isocrates' rhetorical concepts carved out a deliberative procedure that connected ethical offerings to political questions and addressed moral issues as they can be discovered concretely. His notions of civic schooling hence created views that, not like the elitism of Aristotle, will be used to bolster democracy.

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He calls upon his students to become persons capable of intervening, through speech, in an equally complex social and political realm. This conception of civic education as union of theory and practice continues to serve as an elusive Grail for many of Isocrates’ descendants in the modern academy. We continue to seek to explain to our own students and (at least in unguarded moments) to ourselves, why and how the texts we study and produce might help us to answer the authoritative “hail” of social convention in a “non-Pavlovian” manner.

They are collectively an epideixis of the speaker’s persuasive power (dunamis, a key term 37 josiah ober in this oration, as it had been for Thucydides). The audience will appreciate, by hearing the extracts, Isocrates’ e¯thos and the dunamis of his logoi (54). Isocrates arrogantly claims that he will gladly pay the greatest penalty if the jury should find his logoi other than “incomparable” (75 cf. 80, 86 – 88; 144). Such an overt display of masterful power would normally be unsuitable, especially when one’s opponents claimed that excessive persuasiveness in speech (the dunamis of his logoi: 5) constituted a threat to the public welfare.

But Isocrates is convinced that his own form of teaching was eminently practical. Isocrates’ fictionality in the Antidosis is of a different order from Plato’s fictional Kallipolis. It is not an other-worldly paradeigma “laid up in heaven,” but a practical paradeigma of civic education that could be carried out in the here and now of everyday social and political life. Whether or not we accept the social and political ideals that inform Isocrates’ audacious misperformance (for the record, I do not), we may honor Isocrates’ conception of the goal of civic education as the development, through speech, of a complex yet integrated identity.

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Isocrates and Civic Education by Takis Poulakos, David Depew

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