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Fear of Diversity: The Birth of Political Science in Ancient Greek Thought cover
  • ISBN: 9780226735535
  • ISBN10: 0226735532

Fear of Diversity: The Birth of Political Science in Ancient Greek Thought

by Saxonhouse, Arlene W. A

  • List Price: $37.50
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publish date: 01/01/1992
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Description
This wide-ranging and provocative book locates the origin of political science in the everyday world of ancient Greek life, thought, and culture. Arlene Saxonhouse contends that the Greeks, confronted by the puzzling diversity of the physical world, sought an unseen and unifying force that would constrain and explain it. This drive toward unity did more than place the mind over the senses: it led the Greeks to play down the very real differences - in particular the female, the family, and sexuality - in both their political and personal lives. While the dramatists and Plato captured the tragic consequences of trying to do so, it was not until Aristotle and his Politics did the Greek world - and its heirs - have a true science of politics, one capable of embracing diversity and accommodating conflict. Much of the book's force derives from Saxonhouse's masterful interweaving of Greek philosophy and drama, her juxtaposition of the thought of the pre-Socratics, Plato, and other philosophers to the cultural life revealed by such dramatists as Aristophanes and Aeschylus. Her approach opens up fresh understandings of such issues as the Greeks' fear of the feminine and their attempts to ignore the demands that gender, reproduction, and the family inevitably make on the individual and the family. The Fear of Diversity represents an important contribution to political philosophy, classics, and gender studies.
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