UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

George Grote on Plato and Athenian democracy

Demetriou, Kyriacos; (1993) George Grote on Plato and Athenian democracy. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

[thumbnail of out.pdf] Text

Download (9MB)


The object of this thesis is to present a critical examination of George Grote's account of Plato and Athenian democracy. The research provides a fresh interpretation of Grote's arguments, and is based on his published works and manuscript unpublished essays. New material is traced concerning the reception and influence of his works on Plato and Athenian democracy in the nineteenth century. Grote is presented as a distinguished classical scholar, and it is suggested that his commitment to utilitarianism did not affect the arguments of his historical writings. Grote's connection with James and John Stuart Mill is also explored. In his time Grote was criticized for being hostile to Plato. Here it is argued that he thought of himself as providing a defence of Plato. This is elaborated by showing that his criticism of Plato forms a part of his conception of Athenian democracy. In a consideration of Grote's appraisal of Athenian democracy within the context of previous works on the subject, emphasis is placed on his unique appreciation of the 'liberal' movement of the fifth century B.C. Grote contrasted Plato's political ideals with the many-sided achievements of the Athenian constitution. However, Grote defended Plato to the extent that he did not conceive of him only as a critic of liberal institutions. He sought to disentangle Plato's thought from religious and metaphysical doctrines which had dominated preceding attempts to interpret Platonic philosophy. The thesis contends that Grote's contribution marked the beginning of a new period in classical research. His overall picture of Athenian democracy and the sophists, together with his original view of Plato's thought, changed the way scholars understood the philosophy and political thought of ancient Greece.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: George Grote on Plato and Athenian democracy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10098750
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item