By Simon Goldhill
This can be the 1st normal research of the earliest writers of Greek prose for college students and lecturers alike. heritage, drugs, technological know-how, philosophy and rhetoric, it asks why and the way those new genres of writing took place within the 5th and fourth centuries BCE. it's hence a research of the cultural and political revolution often called the Greek enlightenment, which has proved so influential and critical for contemporary Western suggestion and society. Questions mentioned contain how and why rhetoric performed this sort of function in democracy, how background written in prose alterations a view of the previous, and the way technological know-how and philosophy build new versions of figuring out what authority is. An exploration is accessible of the way literary background and social and political heritage engage. Written in a full of life and transparent type, the ebook makes an ideal advent to the classical international of Athens.
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All this, during my spare time in 1917,I wrote out at considerable length, with a great many applications and illustrations, in a book called Truth and Contradiction. I went so far as to offer it to a publisher, but was told that the times were hopelessly bad for a book of that kind, and that I had better keep Q U E S T I O N AND ANSWER - 43 it for the present. The publisher was right on both + I points. Not only were the times unpropitious, but&* I was still a beginner in the art of writing books.
Later on, when he has become a 'classic' and his contemporaries are all long dead, the question has been forgotten; especially if the answer he gave was generally acknowledged to be the right answer; for in that case people stopped asking the question, and began asking the question that next arose. So the question asked by the original writer can only be reconstructed historically, often not without the exercise of considerable historical skill. ' says. ' Those eminent philosophers, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, think tout 40 Q U E S T I O N AND ANSWER bonnement that they can discover what the Farmenides is about by merely reading it ; but if you took them to the south gate of Housesteads and said, 'Please distinguish the various periods of construction here, and explain what purpose the builders of each period had in mind', they would protest 'Believe me, I cannot'.
I had learnt how to manage schoolboys; now I had to manage labourers, to keep them well and happy, to understand their approach to our common task and help them to understand mine. ' Experience soon taught me that under these laboratory conditions one found out nothing at all except in answer to a question; and not a vague question either, but a definite one. That when one dug saying merely, 'Let us see what there is here', one learnt nothing, except casually in so far as casual questions arose in one's mind while digging :'Is that black stuff peat or occupation-soil?