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Greek Thought: A Guide to Classical Knowledge / Edition 1

Greek Thought: A Guide to Classical Knowledge / Edition 1


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Ancient Greek thought is the essential wellspring from which the intellectual, ethical, and political civilization of the West draws and to which, even today, we repeatedly return. In more than sixty essays by an international team of scholars, this volume explores the full breadth and reach of Greek thought—investigating what the Greeks knew as well as what they thought about what they knew, and what they believed, invented, and understood about the conditions and possibilities of knowing. Calling attention to the characteristic reflexivity of Greek thought, the analysis in this book reminds us of what our own reflections owe to theirs.

In sections devoted to philosophy, politics, the pursuit of knowledge, major thinkers, and schools of thought, this work shows us the Greeks looking at themselves, establishing the terms for understanding life, language, production, and action. The authors evoke not history, but the stories the Greeks told themselves about history; not their poetry, but their poetics; not their speeches, but their rhetoric. Essays that survey political, scientific, and philosophical ideas, such as those on Utopia and the Critique of Politics, Observation and Research, and Ethics; others on specific fields from Astronomy and History to Mathematics and Medicine; new perspectives on major figures, from Anaxagoras to Zeno of Elea; studies of core traditions from the Milesians to the various versions of Platonism: together these offer a sense of the unquenchable thirst for knowledge that marked Greek civilization—and that Aristotle considered a natural and universal trait of humankind. With thirty-two pages of color illustrations, this work conveys the splendor and vitality of the Greek intellectual adventure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674002616
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 12/01/2000
Series: Harvard University Press Reference Library , #6
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 1056
Product dimensions: 6.75(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Jacques Brunschwig was Professor of Ancient Philosophy, Emeritus, at Paris-Sorbonne University.

Geoffrey E. R. Lloyd succeeded Moses Finley as Master of Darwin College, University of Cambridge. He is the author of numerous works on the classical period, among them Early Greek Science: Thales to Aristotle; Greek Science after Aristotle; and Magic, Reason, and Experience: Studies in the Origin and Development of Greek Science.

Julia Annas is Regents Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona.

Paul Cartledge is Professor of Greek History at Clare College, Cambridge.

David John Furley (1922–2010) was Charles Ewing Professor of Greek Language and Literature at Princeton University.

Christian Jacob is a Faculty Member, Anthropologie et histoire des mondes antiques, at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

André Laks is Professor Emeritus of Ancient Philosophy at the University of Paris–Sorbonne, and Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City.

A. A. Long is Emeritus Professor of Classics, Irving G. Stone Professor of Literature, and Affiliated Professor of Philosophy and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.

Table of Contents

Translators' Note

Introduction: On Home Ground in a Distant Land



The Philosopher

Images of the World

Myth and Knowledge

The Question of Being



The Statesman As Political Actor

Inventing Politics

Utopia and the Critique of Politics

The Sage and Politics

The Pursuit of Knowledge

Schools and Sites of Learning

Observation and Research

Demonstration and the Idea of Science

• Cosmology
• Geography
• Harmonics
• History
• Language
• Logic
• Mathematics
• Medicine
• Physics
• Poetics
• Rhetoric
• Technology
• Theology and Divination
• Theories of Religion

Major Figures

• Antisthenes
• Archimedes
• Aristotle
• Democritus
• Epicurus
• Euclid
• Galen
• Heraclitus
• Herodotus
• Hippocrates
• Parmenides
• Plato
• Plotinus
• Plutarch
• Polybius
• Protagoras
• Ptolemy
• Pyrrhon
• Socrates
• Thucydides
• Xenophon
• Zeno

Currents of Thought
The Academy
• Aristotelianism
• Cynicism
• Hellenism and Christianity
• Hellenism and Judaism
• The Milesians
• Platonism
• Pythagoreanism
• Skepticism
• Sophists
• Stoicism



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