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Theory and Practice of Life: Isocrates and the Philosophers

by Tarik Wareh Center for Hellenic Studies
Pub Date:
11/2012
ISBN:
9780674067134
Format:
Pbk 244 pages
Price:
AU$49.99 NZ$53.04
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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The Theory and Practice of Life is a study of the literary culture within which the works, schools, and careers of Plato, Aristotle, and contemporary Greek intellectuals took shape. It focuses on the important role played by their rival Isocrates and the rhetorical education offered in his school. Tarik Wareh shows that when Aristotle illustrates his ethical theory by reference to the practical arts, this is no simple appeal to a homespun commonsense analogy, but a sign of dependence on the traditions and concepts of rhetorical and empirical methodology. Likewise, when Plato in the Phaedrus constructs the possibility of a truly philosophical rhetoric on the model of aHippocratica medicine, his uncomfortable consciousness of rhetorical theoryas relevance, prestige, and power is revealed. The second half of the book brings together the fragmentary evidence for the participation of aIsocrateansa in the philosophical polemics, princely didactics, and literary competition of the fourth century, shedding new light on the alost yearsa of intellectual and literary history that lie before the dawn of the Hellenistic period.
Tarik Wareh is Assistant Professor of Classics at Union College in Schenectady, NY.