The Origins, Nature, and Development of Science in Ancient Greece

(after G.E.R. Lloyd)

Philosophy 6396, Spring 1997

Dr. Cynthia Freeland


The Origins of Science

A. Key developments in science in the ancient near east (Egypt and Babylon):

Geometry, astronomy, medicine

B. Possible explanations for the Greek origins and emphasis on science:

*This is the hypothesis Lloyd advocates.

[Sources: "The Debt of Greek Philosophy and Science to the Ancient Near East," "The Invention of Nature," "The Social Background of Early Greek Philosophy and Science," in Methods and Problems in Greek Science; also,"Greek Science and Greek Society," in Magic, Reason, and Experience.]

C. Views on the development of science in Greece: Karl Popper vs. G. S. Kirk

[Source: "Popper vs. Kirk: A Controversy in the Interpretation of Greek Science", in Methods and Problems in Greek Science]

Part II. Polarity and Analogy

[Source: Polarity and Analogy: Two Types of Argumentation in Early Greek Thought]

A. Polarity

See Aristotle's remarks from Physics 188b27ff (p. 15)

Why opposites? Possible origins or explanations Lloyd considers and rejects:

Strengths of categorial systems of opposites

Types of Polarity/Examples

B. Analogy


Three Main Analogies of the Cosmos

Chief roles of technological images: (a) separate the moving cause, (b) emphasize rational order in the universe

Craftsman models in Plato and Aristotle fit badly with their anti-craftsmen political views (their elitism)

Summary: How philosophical views differ from pre-philosophical views:

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