Sophists, Socratics and Cynics (Routledge Revivals): 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sophists, Socratics and Cynics (Routledge Revivals)

1st Edition

By David Rankin


252 pages

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The Sophists, the Socratics and the Cynics had one important characteristic in common: they mainly used spoken natural language as their instrument of investigation, and they were more concerned to discover human nature in its various practical manifestations than the facts of the physical world.

The Sophists are too often remembered merely as the opponents of Socrates and Plato. Rankin discusses what social needs prompted the development of their theories and provided a market for their teaching. Five prominent Sophists – Protagoras, Gorgias, Prodicus, Hippias and Thrasymachus – are looked at individually. The author discusses their origins, aims and arguments, and relates the issues they focussed on to debates apparent in contemporary literature.

Sophists, Socratics and Cynics, first published in 1983, also traces the sophistic strand in Greek thought beyond the great barrier of Plato, emphasising continuity with the Cynics, and concludes with a look forward to Epicureans and Stoics.

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations; Preface 1. The Sophistic Movement: Beginnings and Identity 2. Five Prominent Sophists: Protagoras, Gorgias, Prodicus, Hippias, Thrasymachus 3. Less Prominent Sophists 4. Nature Versus Law, Relativism and the Origins of Society 5. First Philosophies? 6. Thucydides: Sophistic Method and Historical Research 7. Sophistry and Tragedy 8. Atheism 9. Socrates 10. Plato 11. The Socratics 12. Antisthenes 13. Diogenes and the Cynics 14. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index

About the Series

Routledge Revivals

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Drawing from over 100 years of innovative, cutting-edge publishing, Routledge Revivals is an exciting programme whereby key titles from the distinguished and extensive backlist of the many acclaimed imprints associated with Routledge will be re-issued.

The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General
HISTORY / Ancient / Greece
PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical