Ethical and Political thought in Antiphon's Truth and Concord

M. Bonazzi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


“Ethical and Political Thoughts in Antiphon’s Truth and Concord” argues for a unitarian reading of Antiphon’s treatises Truth and Concord. Three concepts are significant to the discussion: nature (physis), law (nomos), and intelligence (gnōmē, nous). Antiphon’s point of departure is physis, which he does not regard as source of social, that is, interpersonal, or civic normativity. In the face of the absence of nature as a guide to social or civic life, Truth and Concord each entertain two distinct responses to the problem. In Truth Antiphon suggests, in contrast to the convictions of many contemporaries, that nomos is not capable of solving the problems of physis. In Concord gnomē is presented as providing a criterion for engendering good character and conducting a successful life. Even leaving aside the problem of the identity of the sophist and the oligarchic rhetor, this defense of intelligence, when combined with the attack on nomos, implies an antidemocratic polemic.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarly Greek Ethics
EditorsDavid Conan Wolfsdorf
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780198758679
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Antiphon
  • Sophists
  • ancient political thought
  • Greek ethical thought


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