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373Dissoi Logoi

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  • Jon Roland
    Apr 6, 2014
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      We have posted to our site Dissoi Logoi: Two-Fold or Contrasting Arguments, Anonymous (c. 425 BCE). It is a presentation of the method of using opposing arguments to elicit understanding, often used as a tool of the sophists, which indicates the author was a sophist, the rough equivalent in ancient Greece of a lawyer. Although they opposed the sophists, Socrates and his student Plato adopted the method, which was later given the name "dialectic" by Hegel and used as a way to explain historical development as a kind of conversation or debate among historical movements. This short writing is one of the earliest surviving writings of any kind, and it provides insight into the thinking and practices of the ancient Greeks, including their use of sortition to select officials, the randomly selected jury to decide legal cases, and mores for dress, behavior, and sexual conduct. From this glimpse into the distant past we can get some appreciation of how some things don't change.
      -- Jon
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