Aleksandra S. Solovyova
Saint Petersburg State University
Solon’s philosophy: the development of personality and the concept of “measure”
Abstract. The article considers the philosophy of the Athenian politician Solon, who was able to lay the foundations of the democratic structure of Attica. The aim of the work is to study the features of Solon’s world outlook and the historical context that influenced his formation. With the help of the historical-genetic method, the article analyzes the political and social prerequisites for the emergence of the philosophy of the wise man. The historical-comparative method is used to critically comprehend ancient sources. The typological method helps to correlate Solon’s outlook with the general development of ancient thought of the archaic epoch. The research is based on the historical approach, which is necessary to link the formation of the philosophy of the Athenian sage and those events that took place in the polis during the archaic period of Greece.
In modern historiography Solon is most often seen as a politician, legislator of Attica. The world outlook of the “seven wise men” is studied in the general context of the emergence of ancient social thought. The novelty and relevance of this article are a detailed consideration of the new concepts that appear in the world view of Solon as one of the representatives of the “Seven Wise Men” and can be traced in the further philosophy of ancient Greece, namely, the emergence of individualism and the notion of “measures.” In ancient times, Solon was ranked among the “seven wise men”, whom the Greeks worshiped.
The philosophy of the “seven wise men” is the initial period of the formation of ancient Greek thought, a gradual departure from the epic and mythological perception of the world. Their views laid the foundation for the subsequent development of philosophy in Greece.
Despite the fact that the ancient authors list of persons who are ranked among the seven wise men, is constantly changing, Solon is mentioned in almost every enumeration of the sages. In addition, the study of Solon’s outlook is helped by the safety of sources that describe his activities. Especially important are the information of Aristotle, Herodotus, Plutarch. Equally important are the elegies of the legislator, which have survived to our time, which reflect Solon’s views on contemporary reality. In the article, Solon’s world outlook is studied, the emergence of the concept of “measures” in the philosophy of the sage. Consideration of the socio-political context helps to understand the conditions under which Solon’s personality evolved. The reformer, being of noble origin, was engaged in trade business, which affected his way of life and perception of reality. Solon lived in an era when there was a constant aristocratic struggle that undermined the stability of the Athenian policy. In addition, the domination of noble births led to the fact that ordinary people were unable to participate in political life. Solon was a witness to these processes, which influenced his worldview. Injustice, a constant struggle for power, greed, abuse are those categories that the sage condemns, contrasting them with love for the homeland, the law, a sense of proportion. The historical analysis of the biography of Solon allows us to draw conclusions about how the views of the Athenian sage were formed.
Keywords: Solon, seven sages, personality, moderation, philosophy, archaic age.
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