The Theory and Practice of Life: Isocrates and the Philosophers

The Theory and Practice of Life: Isocrates and the Philosophers

by Tarik Wareh


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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 “Hippocratic” medicine, his uncomfortable consciousness of rhetorical theory’s relevance, prestige, and power is revealed. The second half of the book brings together the fragmentary evidence for the participation of “Isocrateans” in the philosophical polemics, princely didactics, and literary competition of the fourth century, shedding new light on the “lost years” of intellectual and literary history that lie before the dawn of the Hellenistic period.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674067134
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 11/12/2012
Series: Hellenic Studies Series , #54
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.52(d)

About the Author

Tarik Wareh is Assistant Professor of Classics at Union College in Schenectady, NY.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 1

Part I Isocrates and Aristotle: An Entanglement 11

1 The Influence of Rhetorical Education on Aristotelian Ethics: Knowledge, Training, and Performance 13

2 Plato's Concession to the Practical Arts in the Phaedrus 55

3 Aristotle in the Afternoon: Rhetoric, Exoterica, and the Compromised Philosopher 76

Part II School Creatures: Literary Competition, Philosophy, and Politics 113

4 Philosophical Politics, Tooth and Nail 115

Speusippus' Letter to Philip 134

5 Preaching and Patronage: The Intellectual and the King 140

Conclusion: Isocrateanism in the Renaissance 197

Bibliography 209

Index of Primary Sources 223

Subject Index 231

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