Adversaries and Authorities: Investigations Into Ancient Greek and Chinese Science

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 26, 1996 - Philosophy - 250 pages
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This is a wide-ranging exploration of the similarities and differences between ancient Greek and ancient Chinese science and philosophy, concentrating on the period down to AD 300. Professor Lloyd studies such questions as the attitudes towards authority, the practice of confrontational debate, the role of methodological inquiries, the development of techniques of persuasion, the assumptions made about causal explanation and the focus of interest in the study of the heavens and in that of the human body. In each case the Greek and Chinese ways of posing the problems are carefully distinguished to avoid applying either Greek categories to Chinese thought or vice versa. Professor Lloyd shows that the science produced in each ancient civilisation differs in important respects and relates those differences to the values and social institutions in question.

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User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

This book has one flaw: it's too short. The author emphasizes that it is pointless to evaluate ancient conceptions of science on any other criteria than those accepted by ancient scientists themselves ... Read full review


Comparative studies and their problems methodological preliminaries
Adversaries and authorities
Methodology epistemology and their uses
The techniques of persuasion
Causes and correlations
Greek and Chinese dichotomies revisited
Finite and infinite in Greece and China
Heavenly harmonies
The politics of the body
Science in antiquity the Greek and Chinese cases and their relevance to the problems of culture and cognition
Glossary of Chinese and Greek terms

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About the author (1996)

G. E. R. Lloyd is Emeritus Professor of Ancient Philosophy and Science at the University of Cambridge, Former Master of Darwin College, Cambridge, and Senior Scholar in Residence at the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge. He is the author of twenty-two books and editor of four, and was knighted for 'services to the history of thought' in 1997.

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