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Greek Thought

Greek Thought

A Guide to Classical Knowledge

Edited by Jacques Brunschwig and Geoffrey E. R. Lloyd
Translated by Catherine Porter

ISBN 9780674002616

Publication date: 12/01/2000

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.


  • Rather than analyzing Greek philosophy, politics, and science and discussing their influence on contemporary Western society, the authors have instead chosen to look at how the ancient Greeks perceived themselves and the world around them as well as how they reacted to that world...Given the superb quality of the scholarship and the very reasonable price for a volume of this length, this book should be a priority purchase.

    —Library Journal


  • 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.

Book Details

  • 1056 pages
  • 6-3/4 x 10 inches
  • Belknap Press