The Origins of Greek Thought

Couverture
Cornell University Press, 1984 - 144 pages
1 Commentaire
Jean-Pierre Vernant's concise, brilliant essay on the origins of Greek thought relates the cultural achievement of the ancient Greeks to their physical and social environment and shows that what they believed in was inseparable from the way they lived. The emergence of rational thought, Vernant claims, is closely linked to the advent of the open-air politics that characterized life in the Greek polis. Vernant points out that when the focus of Mycenaean society gave way to the agora, the change had profound social and cultural implications. "Social experience could become the object of pragmatic thought for the Greeks," he writes, "because in the city-state it lent itself to public debate. The decline of myth dates from the day the first sages brought human order under discussion and sought to define it. . . . Thus evolved a strictly political thought, separate from religion, with its own vocabulary, concepts, principles, and theoretical aims."
  

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Review: The Origins of Greek Thought

Avis d'utilisateur  - Will Large - Goodreads

This is an excellent book and really readable. It shows how philosophy has its origin in the ancient Greek society. Consulter l'avis complet

Table des matières

Introduction
9
The Historical Background
15
Mycenaean Royalty
23
The Crisis of Sovereignty
38
The Spiritual Universe of the Polis
49
The Earliest Sages
69
The Structure of the Human Cosmos
82
Cosmogonies and Myths of Sovereignty
102
The New Image of the World
119
Conclusion
130
Index
136
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À propos de l'auteur (1984)

Jean-Pierre Vernant is a leading French scholar of ancient Greece who attempts to elucidate Greek religions, especially mythology, through the development of a historical anthropology. In 1984 he retired from his position as professor of the comparative study of ancient religion at the College de France. Among his earlier accomplishments, Vernant received the Croix de Guerre and the Croix de la Liberation for his service in the French army in World War II; he was also made an officer in the French Legion of Honor. Vernant is a writer of essays more than of books. As anthropologist James Redfield (see Vol. 3) puts it, "His forte . . . has been the informal, slightly rambling essay. . .; he does not collect evidence in order to make a case but rather cites the material in order to illustrate his ideas."Vernant's career has been distinguished by his collaboration with other scholars, most notably with Marcel Detienne and Pierre Vidal-Naquet. His interest in applying anthropological study to ancient Greece derives from his teacher, Louis Gernet, a member of Emile Durkheim's (see Vol. 3) school of L'Annee Sociologique. Vernant also adapts ideas from structuralist anthropology, without, however, surrendering a historical perspective. He works most often on materials from Greece of the fifth century b.c. Classicists often resist Vernant's approach because it is so heavily informed by theory. Nevertheless, it provides a wonderfully rich and complex vision of the ancient world and is worth serious and prolonged consideration.

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