The Advent of Pluralism

The Advent of Pluralism : Diversity and Conflict in the Age of Sophocles

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The Advent of Pluralism explores how the philosophical position of pluralism - the idea, made famous by Isaiah Berlin, that values and moral codes can and will come into conflict with one another - has clear and important roots in the Classical Greek world. The book falls into three parts each of which focuses on one author and the ways in which pluralism manifests itself in his particular genre. Part I is concerned with the sophist Protagoras, who was one of the world's first philosophers and arguably the first exponent of the idea that there can be more than one perspective on truth. Part II looks at pluralism in historical writing, contrasting the methodological and moral styles of the two best-known Greek historians, Thucydides and Herodotus. Part III, on conflict in the tragedies of Sophocles, uses pluralism as a context in which to make sense of the horrible choices the playwright so powerfully dramatizes. Overall, Lauren Apfel's study identifies a pluralist temper of thought in the age of Sophocles and, in doing so, offers an enriched understanding of this crucial intellectual period.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 144 x 218 x 32mm | 621.42g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199600627
  • 9780199600625
  • 1,742,975

Review quote

solid and thought-provoking monograph rogueclassicism

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Table of contents

1. Introduction: pluralism and the Greeks ; I. PROTAGORAS ; 2. Pluralism and Protagoras: the plurality of truth ; 3. Plato's Protagoras: the plurality of value in the sophistic age ; II. HERODOTUS ; 4. Pluralism and history ; 5. Pluralism in the histories ; III. SOPHOCLES ; 6. Pluralism and tragedy ; 7. Ajax: moral certainty ; 8. Antigone and Electra: moral conflict ; 9. Philoctetes: moral complexity

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