Reflections on the constellation of Mousikē,
 politics and ethics in Plato’s dialogues

Labuschagne, Marise (2019-02)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Type

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research project investigates Mousikē, Politics and Ethics as an integrated cultureshaping constellation within the democratic context of fifth-century B.C.E. Athens, Greece. Mousikē, in the broad sense, included music, dance and poetry, and formed an important of Greek intellectual culture and everyday life. It was present during intimate religious ceremonies as well as grander occasions such as festivals and even battles. Mousikē functioned as an educational platform where aristocrats were able to master rhetoric through studying literature and the performance arts, including poetry, music and dance. Social hierarchy was of great importance in Grecian culture. The elite mastered rhetoric and Mousikē to express their social power over non-aristocratic citizens. As part of the democratic advances in Athens, all Athenian-born male citizens were encouraged to participate in civic duties. This presented ethical complications for the philosophers, as they believed not all men were or of just character or sufficiently educated in politics to partake in political matters. For this reason, Plato envisioned an Ideal State, where philosophers would rule the poleis (city-states) and all citizens would be morally educated in all traditional elements of Mousikē. In reality, Athens found itself within an economic and political crisis in the late sixth century and required radical transformation in order to continue to exist functionally. This research project considers the possibility that the constellation of Mousikē, Politics and Ethics steadily moulded a new Grecian society that would experience exponential growth during the fifth century and into the Classical era.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsingsprojek ondersoek die konsepte van Mousikē, Politiek en Etiek as ‘n geïntegreerde kultuurvormende konstellasie in Athene gedurende die ontwikkeling van die Griekse demokrasie in die vyfde eeu B.C.E. Mousikē het ‘n groot deel van Griekse kultuur verteenwoordig en was verweef met die daaglikse lewens van die burgers. Mousikē was teenwoordig gedurende intieme religieuse seremonies asook tydens groter feeste en vertonings. Dit het ‘n opvoedkundige platform geskep waar aristokrate retoriek, digkuns, musiek en dans kon bemeester as binne die tradisies van die Griekse sosiale hiërargie. Sosiale orde was van groot belang binne die Griekse kultuur. Die beoefening van retoriek en Mousikē het die geleentheid geskep vir aristokrate om hulsef verder te distansieer van die niearistokrate en sodoende sosiale mag oor hulle uit te oefen. As deel van die demokratiese ontwikkelinge in Athene is alle Atheense manlike burgers aangemoedig om aan burgerlike pligte deel te neem. Dit het etiese probleme vir die filosowe geskep, omdat hulle nie oortuig was dat alle manlike burgers oor die morele karakter of politieke insig beskik het om aan die politieke lewe deel te neem nie. Vir hierdie rede het Plato sy Ideale Staat geskep waar filosowe sou regeer en alle burgers ‘n morele opvoeding sou kry. Hierdie opvoeding het Mousikē ingesluit. In werklikheid was Athene aan die einde van die sesde eeu in ‘n ekonomiese en politieke krisis gedompel en het ‘n radikale transformasie benodig om voort te bestaan. Hierdie navorsingsprojek oorweeg die moontlikheid dat die konstellasie van Mousikē, Politiek en Etiek gedurende die vyfde eeu stelselmatig die kultuur van Athene beïnvloed en omskep het in die historiese fenomeen wat bekend staan as die Klassieke era.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105660
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