The Greeks and the Irrational

The Greeks and the Irrational

4.2 (605 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


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.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 20mm | 363g
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • 2nd edition
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0520242300
  • 9780520242302
  • 198,869

Table of contents

I Agamemnon's Apology
II From Shame-Culture to Guilt-Culture
III The Blessings of Madness
IV Dream-Pattern and Culture-Pattern
V The Greek Shamans and the Origin of Puritanism
VI Rationalism and Reaction in the Classical Age
VII Plato, the Irrational Soul, and the Inherited Conglomerate
VIII The Fear of Freedom
Appendix I Maenadism
Appendix II Theurgy
show more

Review quote

"An exciting and fundamental subject; profound learning illuminated by imaginative insight and controlled by a modest and balanced judgment; a literary style of exceptional clarity, vigour, and elegance; the combination of these ingrediants produces a book which it would be difficult to over-praise."--"Oxford Magazine"
show more

Rating details

605 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 44% (269)
4 36% (217)
3 16% (98)
2 2% (14)
1 1% (7)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X