The ambivalences of rationality : ancient and modern cross-cultural explorations / G. E. R. Lloyd
- Lloyd, G. E. R. (Geoffrey Ernest Richard), 1933-
- Cambridge, UK ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2018.
- Copyright Date:
- Physical Description:
- ix, 125 pages ; 24 cm
- Aims and methods -- Rationality reviewed -- Cosmology without nature -- Seeming and being -- Language, literacy and cognition -- Gods, spirits, demons, ghosts, mysticism, miracles, magic, myth -- Conclusions: the ambivalences of rationality.
- Is rationality a well-defined human universal, such that ideas and behaviour can everywhere be judged by a single set of criteria? Or are the rational and the irrational simply cultural constructs? This study provides an alternative to both options. The universalist thesis underestimates the variety found in sound human reasonings exemplified across time and space and often displays a marked Eurocentric bias. The extreme relativist faces the danger of concluding that we are all locked into mutually unintelligible universes. These problems are worse when certain concepts, often inherited from ancient Greek thought, especially binaries such as Nature and Culture, or the literal and the metaphorical, are not examined critically. Drawing on a variety of disciplines, from philosophy to cognitive science, this book explores what both ancient societies (Greece and China especially) and modern ones (as revealed by ethnography) can teach us concerning the heterogeneity of what can be called rational.
- 9781108420044 hardcover and 1108420044 hardcover
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references (pages 103-118) and index.
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