A History of Greek Philosophy, Volume 3, Part 1: The by W. K. C. Guthrie

By W. K. C. Guthrie

The 3rd quantity of Professor Guthrie's nice background of Greek idea, entitled The Fifth-Century Enlightenment, offers in elements with the Sophists and Socrates, the most important figures within the dramatic and primary shift of philosophical curiosity from the actual universe to guy. each one of those elements is now on hand as a paperback with the textual content, bibliography and indexes amended the place priceless in order that each one half is self-contained. The Sophists assesses the contribution of people like Protagoras, Gorgias and Hippias to the intense highbrow and ethical fermant in fifth-century Athens. They wondered the bases of morality, faith and arranged society itself and the character of information and language; they initiated an entire sequence of significant and carrying on with debates, they usually provoked Socrates and Plato to a huge restatement and defence of conventional values.

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For Critias the gods were the invention o f an ingenious legislator to prevent men from breaking the laws when not under nupervision. Prodicus may, like some nineteenth-century anthro­ pologists, have seen the early stages of religion as two, first the 1 Kuusscau, Social Contract, 2 . 1 4 (trans. H o p k i n s ) ; L o c k e , Second Treatise on Civil Governmtni, 2 . 1 3 6 . (Both passages may conveniently be found in the W o r l d ' s Classics v o l u m e Social Contract, ed. Darker, 313 and 1 1 5 .

A n d e r s o n , ' T h e I m p o r t a n c e o f tlir D a m o n i a n T h e o r y in Plato's T h o u g h t ' {ΤΑΡΑ, 1955 ; see also his b o o k Ethos and Educa­ tion in Greek Music and its review b y B o r t h w i c k in CR, 1 9 5 8 ) ; ch. 6 o f F. Lasserre, Pint, de hi miiui/ue; J. S. Morrison in CO, 1958, 204-6; H . John, ' D a s musikerziehende W i r k e n l'yiliugorutt' und D a m o n s ' {Das Altertum, 19Λ2). What is a Sophist ? He was neither an orator nor one of those called philosophers of nature.

Nomos and physis were enemies, and right was on the side of physis. The Sophist Antiphon drew an elaborate contrast between the works of nomos and those of physis, the former being unnecessary and artificial curbs imposed on nature b y human agree­ ment, the latter necessary and of natural origin. In the idea that laws are a matter of human agreement, 'covenants made b y the citizens' as Hippias called them (p. 138 below), instead o f divinely sanctioned, we have the essence of the theory of the social compact or contract which was developed especially in Europe o f the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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