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David Runciman: Athenian Democracy and Google

29 January 2009
Democracy and Knowledge: Innovation and Learning in Classical Athens 
by Josiah Ober.
Princeton, 342 pp., £17.95, November 2008, 978 0 691 13347 8
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... to its privileged position, and regularly picking fights it couldn’t win. It doesn’t exactly sound like the Google (company motto: ‘Don’t be evil’) of the ancient world. However, JosiahOber is here to tell us that we have this last point completely wrong. We think of Athens like this only because we have been misled by the best-known ancient sources (from Plato on), which tended to talk ...

Not Not To Be

Malcolm Schofield: Aristotle’s legacy

17 February 2005
A New History of Western Philosophy. Vol. I: Ancient Philosophy 
by Anthony Kenny.
Oxford, 341 pp., £17.99, June 2005, 0 19 875273 3
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... the whiff of authenticity they get. This book (like much present-day commentary on ancient philosophy) is not for them. Others now writing – Geoffrey Lloyd, Walter Burkert, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, JosiahOber, Andrea Nightingale come to mind – do much more in very different ways to respond to the cultural density and complexity of ancient Greek thought, and to explore its development within broader ...

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