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Grand Theories and Everyday BeliefsScience, Philosophy, and their Histories$
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Wallace Matson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199812691

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812691.001.0001

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Athens I

Athens I

Chapter:
(p.95) Chapter 11 Athens I
Source:
Grand Theories and Everyday Beliefs
Author(s):

Wallace Matson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812691.003.0011

The intensely human culture of newly literate Ionia spread into every field of intellectual endeavor. Though it was obviously anti-religious, serious opposition to it took nearly a century to develop. Ionian thought came to Athens later than to Italy. It was introduced by Anaxagoras of Clazomenae and by members of a new “profession,” the Sophists –itinerant lecturers and tutors. The most famous of these was Protagoras, the first Relativist and explicit agnostic. Socrates, a native Athenian, started out as a friend of the scientific side of Pythagoreanism. As such he was caricatured by the comic poet Aristophanes; and as such he was condemned and put to death for “impiety.” But by that time he had undergone a conversion from science to the moral and religious interests also associated with the Brotherhood.

Keywords:   Anaxagoras, sophist, Protagoras, relativism, agnostic, Socrates, Pythagoreanism, Aristophanes, impiety

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