The Ambitions of Curiosity: Understanding the World in Ancient Greece and China

The Ambitions of Curiosity: Understanding the World in Ancient Greece and China

Paperback Ideas in Context

By (author) G. E. R. Lloyd

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  • Format: Paperback | 200 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 226mm x 13mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 1 March 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521894611
  • ISBN 13: 9780521894616
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 31 b/w illus. 1 table
  • Sales rank: 662,349

Product description

In The Ambitions of Curiosity, first published in 2002, one of the world's foremost philosophers of science explores the origins and growth of systematic inquiry in Greece, China, and Mesopotamia. Professor Lloyd examines which factors stimulated or inhibited this development, and whose interests were served. He asks who set the agenda? What was the role of the state in sponsoring, supporting or blocking research, in such areas as historiography, natural philosophy, medical research, astronomy, technology, pure and applied mathematics? How were each of those fields defined and developed in different ancient societies? How did truly innovative thinkers persuade their own contemporaries to accept their work? Professor Lloyd explores the different routes those developments took in China, Greece and Mesopotamia, and demonstrates the unexpected results of many research efforts, as well as the tensions between state control and individual innovation and the different ways they were resolved - problems that remain central to scientific research today.

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Author information

G. E. R. Lloyd is Emeritus Professor of Ancient Philosophy and Science at the University of Cambridge; he was Master of Darwin College from 1989 to 2000.

Review quote

'... an important work ... recommended for undergraduate use.' Scott Rubarth, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Table of contents

1. Histories, annals, myths; 2. The modalities of prediction; 3. The number of things; 4. Applications and applicabilities; 5. The language of learning; 6. Individuals and institutions; Glossary of Chinese and Greek terms; Bibliography; Index.