The third volume of Professor Guthrie's great history of Greek thought, entitled The Fifth-Century Enlightenment, deals in two parts with the Sophists and Socrates, the key figures in the dramatic and fundamental shift of philosophical interest from the physical universe to man. Each of the two parts is available as a paperback with the text, bibliography and indexes amended where necessary so that each part is self-contained. Socrates dominated the controversies of this period, as he has dominated the subsequent history of western philosophy. He was the first to identify and grapple with some of the most intractable and persistent logical and philosophical problems; but he was also and has remained a highly controversial figure because of his extraordinary personal qualities and his remarkable career. Professor Guthrie offers a balanced and comprehensive picture of the man, his life, and his thought.
'This book, like the age it reflects, is a brilliant achievement. Professor Guthrie's study combines remarkable erudition and inclusiveness of scope with a lucid and readable style ... Professor Guthrie succeeds in giving us the most balanced and perceptive treatment of fifth-century thought that has yet been written.' American Historical Review 'Once again the qualities for which the first two volumes have justly been praised are in evidence. Chief among these qualities are the lucidity of the author's writing, the judiciousness of his opinions and the comprehensiveness of his treatment ... Other historians of Greek philosophy have impressed their philosophical personality more firmly on their accounts. But for those who wish their guide above all to be sound, Professor Guthrie is incontestably their man.' The Times Literary Supplement