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Readings in Greek Political “Fiction”: Methods and Relevance to the Modern Political Scientific Inquiry.

Open Panel

Abstract

If some classical political texts are properly utilized, they can enrich our ways of approaching modern political phenomena . It is interesting to see how old meanings and concepts can be correlated to contemporary ones. For example, questions of political stability and political change, political participation and representation, or the organization of government may be highlighted if placed into a different (old) “language game”. By using modern concepts as methodological guidelines, one can draw useful comparisons both in terms of concepts and content. One then may even grasp the opportunity to embark on interpretative intermedia (commentaries in passim). We have tried such kind of work dealing, for instance, with the “Social Contract” of Rousseau. In this paper we intend to focus on Plato’s “Politeia” and “Politikos” and some pieces of ancient drama. Our current concern is therefore a fictional mode of “telling” about key political “things” which can be organized along the previous lines. We believe the merits of discussing political issues through fiction of this kind are remarkable. Among others it allows comparisons between old and new methods including empirical ones (e.g. different kinds of questioning and documenting). We aim to structure the study along two lines: First, we wish to present fiction political texts as concrete methods of politically inquiring. Secondly, we wish to further explore the chosen texts choosing as analytical guidelines the ones mentioned above (e.g. political stability, etc.).