Isocrates and Civic Education

Paperback | August 1, 2009

EditorTakis Poulakos, David Depew

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Civic virtue and the type of education that produces publicly minded citizens became a topic of debate in American political discourse of the 1980s, as it once was among the intelligentsia of Classical Athens. Conservatives such as former National Endowment for the Humanities chairman William Bennett and his successor Lynn Cheney held up the Greek philosopher Aristotle as the model of a public-spirited, virtue-centered civic educator. But according to the contributors in this volume, a truer model, both in his own time and for ours, is Isocrates, one of the preeminent intellectual figures in Greece during the fourth century B.C.

In this volume, ten leading scholars of Classics, rhetoric, and philosophy offer a pathfinding interdisciplinary study of Isocrates as a civic educator. Their essays are grouped into sections that investigate Isocrates' program in civic education in general (J. Ober, T. Poulakos) and in comparison to the Sophists (J. Poulakos, E. Haskins), Plato (D. Konstan, K. Morgan), Aristotle (D. Depew, E. Garver), and contemporary views about civic education (R. Hariman, M. Leff). The contributors show that Isocrates' rhetorical innovations carved out a deliberative process that attached moral choices to political questions and addressed ethical concerns as they could be realized concretely. His notions of civic education thus created perspectives that, unlike the elitism of Aristotle, could be used to strengthen democracy.

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Civic virtue and the type of education that produces publicly minded citizens became a topic of debate in American political discourse of the 1980s, as it once was among the intelligentsia of Classical Athens. Conservatives such as former National Endowment for the Humanities chairman William Bennett and his successor Lynn Cheney held ...

TAKIS POULAKOS is Associate Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Iowa.DAVID DEPEW is Professor of Communication Studies and Rhetoric of Inquiry at the University of Iowa.

other books by Takis Poulakos

Format:PaperbackDimensions:287 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:August 1, 2009Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292722346

ISBN - 13:9780292722347

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction David Depew and Takis PoulakosPart One: Isocrates and Classical Civic Education 1. I, Socrates . . . The Performative Audacity of Isocrates' Antidosis Josiah Ober 2. Isocrates' Civic Education and the Question of Doxa Takis PoulakosPart Two: Isocrates and the Sophists 3. Rhetoric and Civic Education: From the Sophists to Isocrates John Poulakos 4. Logos and Power in Sophistical and Isocratean Rhetoric Ekaterina HaskinsPart Three: Isocrates and Plato 5. Isocrates' "Republic" David Konstan 6. The Education of Athens: Politics and Rhetoric in Isocrates and Plato Kathryn MorganPart Four: Isocrates and Aristotle 7. The Inscription of Isocrates into Aristotle's Practical Philosophy David Depew 8. Philosophy, Rhetoric, and Civic Education in Aristotle and Isocrates Eugene GarverPart Five: Isocrates Then and Now 9. Civic Education, Classical Imitation, and Democratic Polity Robert Hariman 10. Isocrates, Tradition, and the Rhetorical Version of Civic Education Michael LeffWorks CitedContributorsIndex

Editorial Reviews

These varied and probing engagements with Isocrates are a very valuable contribution to our understanding of a figure with whom it remains difficult to come to terms. Readers of Isocrates and Civic Education will find many fruitful new questions opened up before them. - Tarik Wareh