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Author Apfel, Lauren J. (Lauren Jena), 1977-

Title The advent of pluralism : diversity and conflict in the age of Sophocles / by Lauren J. Apfel
Published Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2011


Description 1 online resource (xiv, 380 pages)
Series Oxford classical monographs
Oxford classical monographs
Contents Introduction : pluralism and the Greeks -- Pluralism and Protagoras : the plurality of truth -- Plato's Protagoras : the plurality of value in the sophistic age -- Pluralism and history -- Pluralism in the Histories -- Pluralism and tragedy -- Ajax : moral certainty -- Antigone and Electra : moral conflict -- Philoctetes : moral complexity
Summary This book is concerned with the relationship between a modern philosophical idea and an ancient historical moment. It explores how the notion of pluralism, made famous by Isaiah Berlin, may be seen to feature in the Classical Greek world and, more specifically, in the thought of three of its most prominent figures: Protagoras, Herodotus, and Sophocles. The book falls into three parts, each of which considers one of these authors in detail and investigates how the core aspects of pluralism -- diversity, conflict, and incommensurability -- manifest themselves in a particular literary arena. Part One illustrates, through an analysis of two of his fragments and the portrait of him from Plato's Protagoras, that the sophist Protagoras held that perspectives on truth and value could be plural, while retaining a degree of objectivity that distinguishes his position from relativism. Part Two turns attention towards the ways in which historical writing can be understood in pluralist terms. It portrays Thucydides as an exemplar of a monistic historical style in deliberate contrast to Herodotus. It then examines how ideas of diversity and conflict figure in Herodotus' Histories in a variety of methodological and moral contexts. Part Three focuses on conflict in Sophocles. It argues that pluralist messages emerge from four of his tragedies, in which a certain kind of hero and a certain kind of ethical disagreement are present. These features of Ajax, Antigone, Electra, and Philoctetes are related to the Homeric moral patterns from which their meaning in large part derives. The overall aim of the book is to identify a pluralist temper of thought in the age of Sophocles and, in doing so, to offer an enriched understanding of this crucial intellectual period
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Protagoras.
Pluralism -- History
PHILOSOPHY -- History & Surveys -- General.
Genre/Form History
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9780191618970