ONE

The Greek City-State: Democratic Institutions in Athens

One of the claims made in the introduction to this book was that in order to avoid misinterpreting the ideas of a thinker, we have to place that thinker in his or her historical context. We have to be aware of the social and political conditions that the thinker is responding to. Since, in the next few chapters, we are going to study the political thought of the philosophical threesome of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, which has dominated for so long the study of Greek moral and political philosophy, we need to have a look at their historical context.

Socrates and Plato were Athenian citizens and even though there were times when they were severely critical of the social and political ...

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