Download A Companion to Greek and Roman Political Thought by Ryan K. Balot PDF

By Ryan K. Balot

Includes 34 essays from major students in heritage, classics, philosophy, and political technology to light up Greek and Roman political idea in all its range and depth.

  • Offers a huge survey of historic political suggestion from Archaic Greece via overdue Antiquity
  • Approaches historical political philosophy from either a normative and ancient focus
  • Examines Greek and Roman political concept inside old context and modern debate
  • Explores the function of historic political idea in a variety of philosophies, corresponding to the person and group, human rights, faith, and cosmopolitanism

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Sample text

However, certain theorists have redirected attention to intellectual and political nobility by referring to the ancient example. Leo Strauss and Thomas Pangle, for example, aspire to ‘‘ennoble’’ liberalism by offering a more aristocratic interpretation of its key principles and possibilities (Strauss 1968; T. Pangle 1992; Lutz 1998). Their goal is to reassert a nonrelative understanding of the perfectibility of human nature, so as to combat the perceived inadequacies of the contemporary liberal world, including relativism, conformism, and the lack of spiritual fulfillment.

In the first instance, our understanding of the history of ancient Greek and Roman political thought can be immeasurably improved if we learn to ask the right questions – questions motivated by broad awareness of political thought and practice in other geographic regions and chronological periods, including European modernity. , Katznelson 1997; Lichbach 1997; Landman 2000: 27–32; for an application in ancient history, Pritchard 2007: 349–52). I discern three ways in which our understanding of classical political thought, specifically, can be improved through conducting comparative studies of political thought and political life in other regions and periods.

From this vantage-point, we are cautiously optimistic that this volume will be of interest not only to students, but also to professional scholars striving to advance our collective understanding. Accordingly, in order to maintain the volume’s open-endedness, I have not made any effort to iron out substantive disagreements among my fellow contributors (see, for example, the essays of Chappell and Depew in chapters 25 and 26, respectively). In this sense, I have been guided by Socrates’ disconcerting insistence that everyone must think through the most important problems for himself or herself in the aporetic world of political discourse.

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