Principles and Practices in Ancient Greek and Chinese Science: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Principles and Practices in Ancient Greek and Chinese Science

1st Edition

By G.E.R. Lloyd


320 pages

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Hardback: 9780860789932
pub: 2006-10-28
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From the 90 or so articles he has published in the last two decades Professor Lloyd has chosen fifteen of the most important and influential to be reprinted in this collection. They tackle a wide range of problems in ancient Greek and Chinese thought, focussing especially on science but including also medicine, mathematics, philosophy and mythology. Three common themes recur: the ancients' own concern with disciplinary boundaries, their engagement in polemics, and the heterogeneity of different traditions - cultivating different styles of reasoning with different results - in ancient science. Alongside papers that deal with technical issues in the interpretation of our sources, others raise strategic questions to do with the institutional framework of ancient science, the role of literacy in its development, and the underlying ontological and epistemological presuppositions of different groups of ancient investigators. The collection closes with a study in which Lloyd sets out how he sees the further comparative study of ancient science developing. Two of the articles appear here for the first time in English. The others are reprinted in their original form. Supplementary bibliographies are added referring to the most recent scholarship on the issues discussed.


’These 15 articles […] are now conveniently collected and easily accessible to students of Greco-Roman antiquity and the history of science… the volume is an invaluable collection, adhering to the mission of the Variorum Collected Studies Series… The brief introduction is most helpful in establishing the cohesiveness of the collection, and each essay follows from its predecessor. Lloyd's treatment of manifold questions always engages the reader, and each article rewards with insight and elucidation. The anthology stands not only as a useful synopsis of recent trends and discoveries in the history of Greek (and Chinese) science but also as a testament to the continuing guidance and contributions to the history of science and ideas by the indefatigable Geoffrey Lloyd.’ Aestimatio

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction. Greek Medicine: The transformations of ancient medicine; The definition, status and methods of the medical techne in the 5th and 4th centuries; Scholarship, authority and argument in Galen's Quod animi mores; Theories and practices of demonstration in Galen; Mathematics as a model of method in Galen. Greek Mathematics and Philosophy: The alleged fallacy of Hippocrates of Chios; The Meno and the mysteries of mathematics; Plato and Archytas in the seventh letter; Philosophy and medicine in Ancient Greece: cognitive models and their repercussions; The pluralism of intellectual life before Plato; The evolution of evolution: Greco-Roman antiquity and the origin of species. Cross-cultural Comparisons: Mythology: reflections from a Chinese perspective; Appearance and reality: Greek and Chinese comparisons and contrasts; Literacy in Greek and Chinese science: some comparative issues; Is there a future for ancient science?; Index.

About the Author

Professor Sir Geoffrey Lloyd FBA is Emeritus Professor of Ancient Philosophy and Science, and Honorary Fellow at Darwin College, University of Cambridge, UK. He is also Scholar in Residence at the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge, UK.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General