The Greeks and the Irrational, Paperback

The Greeks and the Irrational Paperback

Part of the Sather Classical Lectures series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


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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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 understanding of the Greek mind and civilisation. It was hugely controversial when it was published and still has that tag.However, to my mind there are only three chapters worth reading: Agamemnon's Apology, Guilt Culture to Shame Culture and Reactions to Rationalism. There is only so much one can say about irrationalism in Greek culture and the other chapters feel as if they were filler.

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