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The Advent of PluralismDiversity and Conflict in the Age of Sophocles$
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Lauren J. Apfel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199600625

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600625.001.0001

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Introduction: pluralism and the Greeks

Introduction: pluralism and the Greeks

Chapter:
(p.1) I Introduction: pluralism and the Greeks
Source:
The Advent of Pluralism
Author(s):

Lauren J. Apfel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600625.003.0001

This chapter sets the stage by making clear the broad connection between the modern idea of pluralism and the ancient Greek world. It outlines the importance of the philosophical position of pluralism, as identified by its greatest exponent, Isaiah Berlin, and it sets out in detail its specific tenets (diversity, conflict, incommensurability, and the rejection of an ideal life). The chapter then traces the origins of pluralism back to the ancient divide between the one and the many, as manifested in both the pre‐Socratic philosophers as well as the lyric poets. Finally, it considers the impact of Plato's monism on our contemporary condition and situates the argument of the book in the context of previous classical scholarship.

Keywords:   pluralism, Isaiah Berlin, diversity, conflict, incommensurability, the one, the many, pre‐socratics, plato, monism

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