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Durham e-Theses
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The contribution of isocrates to western educational thought.

Innerd, W. L. (1969) The contribution of isocrates to western educational thought. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The main theme of the thesis is that Isocrates, although somewhat neglected, is one of the most important figures in the early history of Western Education, He is, in particular, largely responsible for the fact that it has been predominately literary, His role in the conversion of rhetoric from an oral to a written art is discussed, as is his place in the new rhetorical and philosophical culture and his role in the transmission of that culture to subsequent generations. The influence on Isocrates of such exponents of the new culture as Euripides, Socrates and Gorgias is stressed. An analysis is made of sophistry and philosophy in Fourth Century Athens and attempt is made to Place Isocrates wihin this intellectual milieu. His own philosophy is discussed, especially the ideas expressed by the words logos and doxa. The relationship between them is described and is shown to be relevant to Isocrates' concept of practical education. The place of logos at the centre of his curriculum is emphasised together with the introduction of History as a specific subject. His teaching methods are analysed and special attention is paid to the three stages of instruction, the small size of his classes and the subsequent interaction "between his pupils and himself. An attempt is made to estimate the success of his school and his ideas by a survey of his known pupils. Timotheus and Lyourgus, two of his pupils, are suggested as a model for the Renaissance Man. Finally an examination is made of the manner in which Isocrates' ideas were accepted and absorbed into Western Educational Thought by way of Cicero, Quintilian and such later figures as Erasmus and Sir Thomas Elyot,

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Education
Thesis Date:1969
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:06

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