Research@StAndrews
 
The University of St Andrews

Research@StAndrews:FullText >
International Relations (School of) >
International Relations >
International Relations Theses >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/437
This item has been viewed 162 times in the last year. View Statistics

Files in This Item:

File Description SizeFormat
Juin-Lung Huang PhD thesis.pdf1.72 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
Title: Law, reconciliation and philosophy : Athenian democracy at the end of the fifth century B.C.
Authors: Huang, Juin-lung
Supervisors: Rengger, N. J. (Nicholas J.)
Slomp, Gabriella
Keywords: Athenian democracy
Athenian history
Direct democracy
Law reform
Reconciliation
The trial of Socrates
Xenophon
Plato
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to defend Athenian democracy against a long-established suspicion that the Athenian government, with its radical form of popular participation, was not only incompetent but also dangerous. There are two serious misunderstandings in this traditional view; one is the myth of the decline of Athens after the death of Pericles, the other being the outright denial of Athenian democracy by its philosophers, Xenophon and Plato. These two common presumptions about Athenian history and philosophy are therefore examined. The historical examination focuses on three important events: the law reform, the reconciliation and the trial of Socrates. All of them were conducted by Athenian democracy at the end of the fifth century B.C., a period of time that is often cited for the failure of democracy. However, it is found that the democracy demonstrated its excellent ability to manage political conflicts through the laws and the reconciliation. As to the infamous trial of Socrates, there were reasons for the popular suspicion of the Philosopher’s way of life. Following what we have learnt in the historical survey, we search for responses to the three events in the works of Xenophon and Plato. There are passages, though often dismissed by scholars, which indicate remarkable recognition of the democratic achievements in domestic politics. As regards the trial of Socrates, there are also signs of second thoughts in their works that reveal understandings of the democracy’s condemnation of philosophy. The works of Socrates’ pupils show mixed evaluation rather than outright denial of Athenian democracy. The traditional suspicion of Athenian democracy is therefore problematic due to its misconception of Athenian history and philosophy.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/437
Type: Thesis
Publisher: University of St Andrews
Appears in Collections:International Relations Theses



This item is protected by original copyright

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License
Creative Commons

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

 

DSpace Software Copyright © 2002-2012  Duraspace - Feedback
For help contact: Digital-Repository@st-andrews.ac.uk | Copyright for this page belongs to St Andrews University Library | Terms and Conditions (Cookies)