Josiah Ober: The Greeks and the Rational: The Discovery of Practical Reasons

School of Athens

Josiah Ober: The Greeks and the Rational: The Discovery of Practical Reasons: "September 19 Lecture 1. Gyges’ Choice: Rationality and Visibility. September 26 Lecture 2. Glaucon’s Dilemma: Origins of Social Order. Lecture 3. Deioces’ Ultimatum: How to Choose a King. Lecture 4. Cleisthenes’ Wager: Democratic Rationality. Lecture 5. Melos’ Prospects: Rational Domination. Lecture 6. Agamemnon’s Cluelessness: Reason and Eudaimonia...

...After earning his PhD in History at the University of Michigan in 1980, Professor Ober took up positions at Montana State University (1980-1990) and Princeton University (1990-2006) before joining the faculty at Stanford, where he is currently Constantine Mitsotakis Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, with a joint appointment in Classics and Political Science as well as a courtesy appointment in Philosophy.  This transdisciplinary position well reflects the ambitious reach of Professor Ober’s scholarship, which ranges from ancient Greece to the contemporary world and across political and economic theory, cultural studies, philosophy, and the history of democratic institutions.

Professor Ober is the author of about 85 articles and a very long list of game-changing books, including Mass and Elite in Democratic Athens (Princeton, 1989), which won the Goodwin Award (for “best book of the year”) of the Society for Classical Studies (formerly American Philological Association); Democracy and Knowledge (Princeton, 2008), which was named “Best Book in Classics and Ancient History” by the Association of Academic Publishers, included in The Independent’s “Best Ten in History” list, and shortlisted for the Hessell-Titman Prize; The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece (Princeton, 2015), hailed as “a major restatement of our understanding of Classical Greece” and “like no other history of the ancient world”; and most recently Demopolis: Democracy Before Liberalism in Theory and Practice (Cambridge, 2017), based on the Seeley Lectures he delivered at Cambridge in 2015...


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