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Aquí conviene recordar la tesis de E.R Dodds de The Greeks ans the Irrational (1951)para ubicar contextualmente la posición de Platón. Esta tesis postula que hay una historia del
'racionalismo griego' [Greek rationalism]que se ha subdividido en dos versiones que se separan en el punto siguiente: la primera versión postula que los sofistas fueron los iniciadores de un proceso de Aufklärung en el período clásico, mientras que la segunda lo niega rotundamente. Dodds en particular suscribe a la tesis de una historia del lógos y, también, a la de una historia de un proceso de Ilustración "mucho más vieja" y que identifica en las obras de Hecateo, Jenófanes y Heráclito y en generación posterior de filósofos naturalistas como Anaxágoras y Demócrito. Escribe que "Hecateus is the first Greek who admitted that he found Greek mythology 'funny', and set to work to make it less funny by inventing rationalist explanations while his contemporary Xenophanes attacked the Homeric and Hesiodic myths from the moral angle" (Dodds, p.180). Jenófanes pondrá en cuestionamiento la validez de la μαντική; "no man, he says, has ever had, or ever will have, sure knowledge about gods; even if he should chance to hit on the exact truth, he cannot know that he has done so, though we can all have our opinions. That honest distinction between what is knowable and what is not appears again and again in fifth-century thought, and is surely one of its chief glories, it is the foundation of scientific humility" (Dodds, p.181). Tenemos, también, el caso de Eurípides (nota: "It was probably Anaxagoras who taught him to call the divine sun 'a golden clod' and it may have been the same philosopher who inspired his mockery of the professional seers; while it was certainly the Sophists who set him and his whole generation discussing fundamental moral questions in terms of νόμος versus φύσις (Dodds,p.183). "Euripides [...] reflects not only the Enlightenment, but also the reaction against the Enlightenment -at any rate he reacted against the rationalist psychology of some of its exponents and the slick immoralism of others.
Otro caso es el de Protágoras: "virtue could be taught": by criticising his traditions, by modernising the Nomos which his ancestors had created and eliminating from it the last vestiges of 'barbarian silliness', man could acquire a New Art of Living, and human life could be raised to new levels hitherto undreamed of. Such a hope is understandable in men who had witnessed the swift growth of material prosperity after the Persian Wars, and the unexampled flowering of the spirit that accompanied it, culminating in the unique achievements of Periclean Athens.(Dodds,p.183). A esa misma Atenas pertenecía Platón, quién -en la tesis de Dodds del capítulo VII de su estudio -Plato, the Irrational Soul, and the Inherited Conglomerate- se preguntará sucesivamente "what importance did Plato attach to nonrational factors in human behaviour, and how did he interpret them? (Dodds, p.207)

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