Popper’s Ahistoricism: The Case of the Peloponnesian War

Jan Buráň


I criticize Popper’s projection of modern ideals (liberalism, egalitarianism, humanism) onto antiquity. Without attempting to defend Plato or disprove Popper’s normative conclusions, the article shows that The Open Society and Its Enemies strongly idealizes Athenian democrats and the so called “Great Generation”. Attention is chiefly paid to the ancient-Greek notions of equality and group-belonging, and to the fifth-century means of legitimizing power.


Karl R. Popper; ancient Greece; peloponnesian war; sophistic; open society; dualism of facts and norms; liberalism; egalitarianism; collectivism


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