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Free Speech and Democracy in Ancient Athens Hardcover – December 19, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0521819855 ISBN-10: 0521819857 Edition: y First edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The material is meticulously researched and well presented. The most obvious lesson we learn is that, regardless of the period in which ti is practiced, free speech in a democracy is neither absolute nor arbitrarily inhibited. Instead, it is based on the combination of previous experience, present circumstances, and the characteristics of the polity." - Samuel B. Hoff, Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy, Delaware State University

"...the true accomplishment of this book is to reveal the connection between democracy and philosophy through their common dependence on parrhêsia. Each relies on frankness in speech and a willingness on the part of the speaker to expose his or her self to the criticism and, at its best, the instruction of others. However, democratic polities must rely on more than parrhêsia to preserve themselves: They also rely on its opposite, on shame....we learn that the philosophic pretenses of democracy will and can never be met."
Geoffey M. Vaughan, University of Maryland - Baltimore, Perspectives on Politics

"Although such contemporary debates animate her book, Saxonhouse is also attuned to the difficulties of using ancient Athenian institutions as models for modern political theory. The result is an extraordinarily rich and thoughtful book that is both theoretically sophisticated and historically nuanced; it is a model of how historical scholarship can illuminate contemporary political theory."
Thornton C. Lockwood Jr., Fordham University, Political Theory

"This superb new book by Arlene Saxonhouse deserves a wide audience...this volume contains an exceptionally thoughtful, meticulously erudite, and provocatively wise meditation on the significance of the concept and practice of parrhêsia in the democracy of ancient Athens..."
Leslie Friedman Goldstein, The Review of Politics

Book Description

This book illuminates the distinctive character of our modern understanding of the basis and value of free speech by contrasting it with the very different form of free speech that was practiced by the ancient Athenians in their democratic regime. Free speech in ancient democracy was not a protected right but an expression of the freedom from hierarchy, reverence and shame. It was thus an essential ingredient of the egalitarianism of that regime. That freedom was challenged by the harmful consequences of its rejection of shame which had served as a cohesive force within the polity.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; y First edition edition (December 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521819857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521819855
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,114,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It gives a thorough insight in the parrhesia, and especially I like the link to modern philosophy. I have worked with the subject of parrhesia for years.I am not quite finished with the book, but my impression is that it together with Sara Monosons book, and Ros. Thomas book gives a broad understanding of the verbal and developing culture of ancient Athens.

A.P.
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By Rolf William Rasmussen on March 18, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For me it was a very important supplement to my studies of Michel Foucaults writings about parrhesia etc.
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