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Political Science
Ryan Balot

POL200Y1Y L5101 1 R. Balot L3: Thucydides II [email protected] May 19, 2009 4:54 PM Todays Lecture Democratic Courage Plague at Athens Civil War at Corcyra Pericles Response to Plague Athenian Democracy: Stability+ Breakdown Criticizing Democracy Mytilenean Debate Sicilian Debate Pericles Funeral Oration Distinctive Athenian political culture feature: democrats had in their mind rational explanations for their actions, specifically with regards to battle; hence in this oration we seethat democrats live more self-consciously. Unlike the others, they shape their own lives. Athenian thought comes (page 42) out in Pericles anatomy of Athenian society o They sought a harmony between speech and deed so that rational thoughts are the basis for action. o Democracy at Athens became a sort of unity of opposites. The Athenians were relaxed, free, yetso militarily efficient. They were both egalitarian and meritocratic. The funeral oration is thus Thucydides presentation of the greatest possibilities of democracy. o Democracy was able make it possible for individuals to flourish - this is democracys argument However, is democracy is the system of realized human capacity, it is alsone to certain pathologies o What are these pathologies? They stem from democracys excessfaith in free deliberation, potential self-defeating dynamism and its ignorance of its own history Plague at Athens It had both natural and political causes o Everyone was in the city Pericles had faith in rationality, human nature and nature itself are not subject to political control The natural disaster received disastrous political responses 3 points to highlight
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