Principles and Practices in Ancient Greek and Chinese Science  book cover
1st Edition

Principles and Practices in Ancient Greek and Chinese Science

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ISBN 9780860789932
Published October 28, 2006 by Routledge
320 Pages

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Book Description

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.

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.

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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.


’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