The Greeks and the Irrational

The Greeks and the Irrational

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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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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 140 x 203 x 20mm | 363g
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • 2nd edition
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0520242300
  • 9780520242302
  • 195,585

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
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Review quote

"Impeccable scholarship. . . . a gracefully written, shimmering work." * The Atlantic * "A fascinating journey." * Metapsychology Online Review * "One of those rare books whose significance does not exhaust itself in its results and conclusions. It teaches us to read Greek literature with a new awareness of things hitherto neglected and quickens our sensitivity." * American Journal of Philology * "A well-written and beautifully printed volume." * Classical Bulletin *
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Rating details

784 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 44% (348)
4 35% (274)
3 18% (140)
2 2% (15)
1 1% (7)
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