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February 18, 2008

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Mark Vernon

Romano's review of the Socrates' books is indeed different, she championing Isocrates in a scarcely concealed dislike of Plato and his dominance. She likens Isocrates to an Athenian John Dewey but I think she overstates her case. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy does not even have an entry for Isocrates - he generally being regarded as important for his historical witness rather than insight. As the Encyclopedia Britannica puts it: 'Isocrates, however, was a man of no great intellectual power, and it is not surprising to find him contemptuous of the philosophical subtleties of the Platonic circle.'

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