The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies

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Allworth Press, 2002 - Art - 732 pages
This unparalleled comparative study of early Eastern and Western philosophy challenges every existing belief about the philosophical foundations of Western civilization. Spanning thirty years of intense intellectual inquiry and research, the author proves what many scholars before him have sensed but couldnʼt empirically explain: that the seemingly autonomous and separate metaphysical schemes of Greek and Indian cultures have mutually influenced each other over a long period of time, to the point that todayʼs Western world must -- be considered the product of both Eastern and Western thought. The authorʼs groundbreaking research systematically unveils striking similarities between the early metaphysical ideas central to Eastern and Western Philosophies. Thomas McEvilley explores the key philosophical paradigms of these cultures, such as Monism, the doctrine of reincarnation in India and Egypt, and early Pluralism in Greece and India, to show how trade, imperialism and migration currents have allowed these ideas to circulate and intermingle freely throughout India, Greece and the Near East. An intellectual achievement of unprecedented scope and depth, this study is based on early historical, philosophical, spiritual, and Buddhist texts from 600 B.C. until the era of Aristotelian thought. This sweeping interdisciplinary study will captivate students and scholars of philosophy, cultural studies, and classics, who will find that their field has been put on an entirely new footing.

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About the author (2002)

Thomas McEvilley is the author of dozens of books and monographs of art history, classical philology, and philosophy (including the monumental The Shape of Ancient Thought), and three novels (including North of Yesterday, published by McPherson in 1987), he lives in New York City. His art monographs include works on Julian Schnabel, Les Levine, Pat Steir, Ulay and Marina Abramovic, Janis Kounellis, and Bruce Conner.

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