9:7:11 - Lecture #2: Thucydides I. intro a. Why read...

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Lecture #2: Thucydides I. intro a. Why read Thucydides? a.i. greatest book on international relations theory a.ii. extremely influential - guidance gleaned from insight (Churchill and Hobbes); “treasure for all time” a.iii. Athens is the closest institution to the current US b. Who was Thucydides? b.i. well-born, wealthy Athenian b.ii. active in politics b.iii. exiled c. about the book c.i. partisan, defense of Pericles indictment Pericles > Cleon c.ii. Greek Enlightenment, Athens c.iii. history begins with this book II. worldview and method a. secular > religious a.i. Herodotus, Homer – in their epics, gods intervene and shape the story (religion still plays a role) a.ii. for Thucydides, religion is just a superstition b. natural materialism: phusis vs. nomos = nature vs. law and morality b.i. Thucydides attempts to find a “by nature” argument he defines the 3 key characteristics of human nature as fear, honor, and self- interest b.i.1. in Greek political science, phusis > nomos; Melian Dialogue: power-based realism b.i.2. convention by nature; social-morality c. dialectics c.i. Sophists – teachers of rhetoric (speech coaches) in high demand
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9:7:11 - Lecture #2: Thucydides I. intro a. Why read...

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