This major new Handbook provides a definitive state-of-the-art review to political theory, past and present. It offers a complete guide to all the main areas and fields of political and philosophical inquiry today by the world's leading theorists. The Handbook is divided into five parts which together serve to illustrate: - the diversity of political theorizing - the substantive theories that provide an over-aching analysis of the nature/or justification of the state and political life - the political theories that have been either formulated or resurgent in recent years - the current state of the central debates within contemporary political theory - the history of western political thought and its interpretations - traditions in political thought outside a western perspective. The Handbook of Political Theory marks a benchmark publication at the cutting edge of its field. It is essential reading for all students and academics of political theory and political philosophy around the world.
Chapter 23: Ancient Greek Political Thought
Ancient Greek Political Thought
This chapter covers the classical period of Greek civilization (fifth and fourth centuries bc). It is organized by theory rather than by philosopher. We consider in turn relativism, contractualism, Platonism, naturalism, and anarchism. Since theories arise in reaction to other theories, the five we consider form, to a considerable extent, a logical as well as a chronological progression. The focus on theories rather than philosophers has several advantages. First of all, it allows us to highlight the different ways the five theories are grounded, as their names suggest. Second, it allows us to skirt the problem of the authorship of several of the theories. Plato is the chief source for three of them, ...