Development and Political Theory in Classical Athens

in Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek and Roman Political Thought
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.

Help

 

Have Institutional Access?

Login with your institution. Any other coaching guidance?

Connect

The birth of political thought has long been associated with the development of either the polis as a new form of political organization in Greece, or of democracy as a new form of government in Athens. This article suggests that this view ought to be expanded. Between the late 6th and 4th centuries bc, the Greek polis of Athens established large, participatory democratic institutions. But the transformation that the polis underwent did not merely affect political structures: in this period, Athens transitioned from an undeveloped, limited access, ‘natural state’ toward a developed open access society – a society characterized by impersonal, perpetual, and inclusive political, economic, legal and, social institutions. Those who witnessed this transformation first-hand attempted to grapple, often critically, with its implications. We show that Thucydides, Plato, and other Greek political thinkers devoted a considerable part of their work to analyzing the polis’ tendency toward not only political, but also economic, social, and legal inclusion. Without understanding this larger picture, we cannot adequately explain the development of Greek political thought.

Sections
References
  • 2

    BalotGreek Political Thought p. 2.

  • 3

    Cartledge‘Greek Political Thought’ p. 11.

  • 6

    Golden standard: John RawlsPolitical Liberalism (New York: Columbia University Press1996); with Samuel Richard Freeman (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Rawls (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2003).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18

    Karl R. PopperThe Open Society and Its Enemies (Princeton: Princeton Universtity Press1963).

Index Card
Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 640 637 106
Full Text Views 270 269 4
PDF Downloads 42 41 2
EPUB Downloads 10 10 0