Author Topic: In Fifth Century BC, War Was Beginning...  (Read 5942 times)

Cramulus

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Re: In Fifth Century BC, War Was Beginning...
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2009, 04:48:33 pm »
very interesting reads. Thanks for sharing your expertise, Cain.

I'm reminded of the Situationists, who used their own brand of absurdism and irrationality to challenge the hegemony of french life. They weren't interested in winning a rational discussion - they expressed their discontent through nonsensical slogans, a sort of rebellion against the existing channels of discourse. They protested in a way which did not invite dialogue. They were not the black sheep which sought to reclaim the existing order, they wanted to knock it down and build a new one from scratch.


Cain

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Re: In Fifth Century BC, War Was Beginning...
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2009, 04:56:52 pm »
No problem.

I would suggest the Situationists were more of a failed model, however, precisely because of their irrationality, their vocab and methods did not catch on among all groups.  The Sophists were pretty rational, they were just jerkasses.  If you stripped PoMo theorizing of its atrocious vocab and pretentiousness, you'd get something similar to Sophism, though not exactly the same, since the analogy between the two can be overdrawn, despite many similarities.

The Sophists in fact preferred Socratic dialogues and debate, as a way of making their points.  Its just that their methods were...well, if you've read the Eristic Art of Debate, or How to Win Every Argument, kind of like that.  But metaphysically and morally applied, too.

Cain

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Re: In Fifth Century BC, War Was Beginning...
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2009, 04:59:08 pm »
Though, on the other hand, Sophist rhetoric didn't exactly set Athens on fire overnight, and, given how things are now...

Payne

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Re: In Fifth Century BC, War Was Beginning...
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2009, 01:40:57 pm »
I've given this a little thought now (though I still intend printing it all off and reading it on the train to Edinburgh), and I just want to check I've got some ideas straight in my head before I come up with anything to add or adapt.

-History as an academic exercise can give greater weight to certain events/places/people than they necessarily had in their own time, perhaps as subsequent events are influenced by what was originally a marginal or minority view. The success of the subsequent event in it's own right gives more exposure to the original one than it would have otherwise had. Or something. I've not quite got this idea sorted out in my head yet. I do agree that the Romans had a significant role to play in keeping Ancient Greek culture alive (perhaps to try and emulate Alexander, or co-opt his achievements into their own glory), just as the post-Roman powers kept Rome alive in some fashion and so on. Greek culture seems to have been a genesis of some kind from this view of history.

-There are elements of the Ancient Greek culture, amongst many other cultures in different eras and places, that may be used to provide an insight into today's (one of the tools history provides us with, and why there are historians after all). These elements will necessarily be fairly broad brush as it is seldom that a concept  can be transplanted wholesale between two identifiably different contexts, but this one way of looking at a community can provide a different and possibly useful perspective.

-The ways of describing our own ideas in culture (such as left and right wing political stances, or populism versus authoritarianism) are dependent on the conventions of language. One reason that such ideas are able to co-exist within a community is because their proponents can talk to each other in terms they both understand if they wish, meaning they can compromise if necessary. Undermining the language by either "side", or by a third party, makes this less easy and polarises positions.

-From our own point of view, this could be a powerful tool, not just for our perception of events and ideas, but also for influencing them in some way. Leaving aside the actual aims we'd want to achieve with such tactics we could either cause language to break down, polarising ideological positions, or shore it up. It seems to me that the results from such intervention would be necessarily difficult to predict, and that the most subtle uses of this tactic would probably be the most effective. The real difficulty I would think though is identifying where, when and how it would be most effectively used - not to mention whether whatever aim we set out to achieve would be met (perhaps we could use the ideas about risk in The Black Swan in this arena).

~~~Payne: Floundering. And possibly just restating things.

Cain

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Re: In Fifth Century BC, War Was Beginning...
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2011, 04:47:45 pm »
Bump.

Phox may enjoy this.

Phox

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Re: In Fifth Century BC, War Was Beginning...
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2011, 07:06:58 pm »
Bump.

Phox may enjoy this.
I did, indeed.

.Very well written piece, Cain.  I will think on it for a while and hopefully, I'll come up with some interesting commentary.

Phox

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Re: In Fifth Century BC, War Was Beginning...
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2011, 07:16:08 pm »
I have thought about this a great deal and have arrived at the conclusion that I have nothing to add. I had never quite thought of the sophists in that way before, but that is an excellent characterization, and I think it fits splendidly.

Very good.  :mittens: