The Greeks and the Irrational

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University of California Press, Jun 16, 2004 - Philosophy - 336 pages
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In this philosophy classic, which was first published in 1951, E. R. Dodds takes on the traditional view of Greek culture as a triumph of rationalism. Using the analytical tools of modern anthropology and psychology, Dodds asks, "Why should we attribute to the ancient Greeks an immunity from 'primitive' modes of thought which we do not find in any society open to our direct observation?" Praised by reviewers as "an event in modern Greek scholarship" and "a book which it would be difficult to over-praise," The Greeks and the Irrational was Volume 25 of the Sather Classical Lectures series.

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User Review  - reganrule - LibraryThing

While Ancient Greeks are most known for the triumph of rationalism over superstition and magic, E.R. Dodds presents an alternate history which demonstrates that, despite the intellectual advancements ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Pandaros - LibraryThing

Despite being first published in 1951 and considering all of the advances in anthropology, psychology and our knowledge of Greek civilisation, Dodds' book still holds its place as an important ... Read full review

Selected pages


Agamemnons Apology
From ShameCulture to GuiltCulture
The Blessings of Madness
DreamPattern and CulturePattern
The Greek Shamans and the Origin of Puritanism
Rationalism and Reaction in the Classical Age
Plato the Irrational Soul and the Inherited Conglomerate
The Fear of Freedom

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Page 3 - not I was the cause of this act, but Zeus and my portion and the Erinys who walks in darkness: they it was who in the assembly put wild ate in my understanding, on that day when I arbitrarily took Achilles
Page 1 - Individuality is founded in feeling; and the recesses of feeling, the darker, blinder strata of character, are the only places in the world in which we catch real fact in the making, and directly perceive how events happen, and how work is actually done.

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