Chapter

Alexandria

Wallace Matson

in Grand Theories and Everyday Beliefs

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199812691
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919420 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812691.003.0015
Alexandria

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Ptolemy, one of Alexander's generals, a patron of Greek culture, founded in Alexandria, capital of his Egyptian empire, the Library, the greatest depository of Greek literature, and the Museum, a research institute. Science made great advances in the Museum. The Library produced great scholars but little new literature. The principal philosophical innovation of the period was the rise of Skepticism, which utterly rejected high beliefs, whether tethered or not. Greek Skepticism is the ancestor of modern Positivism and Pragmatism, not of Cartesian skepticism. It was quite correct for its time, but it is a good thing that it did not prevail, for it would have eliminated the element of imagination that is essential to science.

Keywords: imagination; Positivism; Pragmatism; Skepticism; Museum; Library; Egypt

Chapter.  1277 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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