Chapter

Ancient understandings reassessed and the consequences for ontologies

G. E. R. Lloyd

in Being, Humanity, and Understanding

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199654727
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191742088 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654727.003.0004
Ancient understandings reassessed and the consequences for ontologies

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A number of recent developments in the history of ancient science have led to the need to revise some still common assumptions concerning the uniformity of the trajectory of scientific development once it began in different ancient civilizations. Detailed study of those civilizations—Mesopotamia, China, and Greece especially—reveals the widely differing aims, ambitions, and methods of those who engaged in systematic attempts to observe, describe, predict and explain the phenomena. This chapter focuses especially on a group of problems that is by no means confined to ancient societies, namely the extent to which, and the circumstances in which, traditional beliefs are open to challenge whether by individuals or by whole groups, and the factors that stimulated or inhibited such challenges.

Keywords: origins of science; Mesopotamia; China; Greece; traditional beliefs; challengeability

Chapter.  10995 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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