TRAMES 1, 2, 1997

Rainer Kattel. The political philosophy of Xenophanes of Colophon


Xenophanes of Colophon (ca. 570 ca. 470 B.C.) is one of the first, if not the first, Greek philosopher to challenge the heroic and dramatic world of Homer and Hesiod. Xenophanes questioned and criticised the way people thought of Gods and of the pol is. Through this monumental challenge he opened the way for a new philosophy of the polis, of human living together. In Xenophanes' philosophy, the polis becomes the central place for mortals, their lives and deeds; it becomes the totality of the human wo rld. To fulfil the main aim of the polis the good life , Xenophanes introduces a new concept of moral and personal perfection of man. The essence of it consists mainly of philosophically and morally responsible wisdom, wisdom which dares to challenge, dares to be different, dares to be theoretical and always tries to find out what is just and right, what is proper for man.

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