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From religion to philosophy; a study in the…
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From religion to philosophy; a study in the origins of western speculation (edição 1957)

por Francis Macdonald Cornford

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In this exploration of the "very first utterance of philosophers," F. M. Cornford showed that the remarkable burst of abstract speculation among pre-Socratic thinkers of the sixth century B.C. emerged directly from the religious thought of the preceding era in Greece. Combining profound classical scholarship with striking anthropological and sociological insight, Cornford rejected the post-Darwinian rationalist assumption that religion and philosophy are fundamentally different from each other. His book supplies a needed reminder of the intricate connections between critical scientific thought and social and emotional experience. As he probes the mythic antecedents of such persistent metaphysical concepts as Destiny, God, Soul, Substance, Nature, and Immortality, Cornford warns us that "unless we have some grasp of that history [of myth], we are not likely to understand the speculation, which, however scientific its spirit may be, constantly operates with these religious ideas, and is to a large extent confined in its movement within the limits already traced by them." Classicists, historians of religion, students of ancient history, and everyone concerned with the subject of myth will find this lucid and highly original work to be a source of rich insights about the organic nature and continuity of Western thought.… (mais)
Membro:ArlingtonChurch
Título:From religion to philosophy; a study in the origins of western speculation
Autores:Francis Macdonald Cornford
Informação:New York, Harper [1957]
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From Religion to Philosophy: A Study in the Origins of Western Speculation por Francis Macdonald Cornford

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Dedicating the book to his father-in-law Sir Francis Darwin, the grandson of Sir Charles Darwin, Cornford hopes that it contains 'some saving touch of the spirit' of that name, and he succeeds. Between religion and philosophy, Cornford says, 'there is commonly held to be some sort of border warfare,' and he aims to knock down that truism in part by establishing the development of Western philosophy out of religion, essentially by the gradual substitution of rational for emotional responses to the same natural phenomena. Unavoidably, however, the long traditions of religion persist in directing philosophy, 'however scientific its spirit may be.' The book serves as an eminently engaging introduction to Greek philosophy while itself offering provocative speculation on the evolution of human consciousness. Philosophy becomes the slow story of the emergence of the individual who still contains within himself a kernel of the collective identity. This is a rare, awe-inspiring kind of scholarship unafraid to peak into the origins of things. ( )
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The origin of Greek philosophy is a problem which not only is of extraordinary interest, but seems at first sight peculiarly hopeful of solution.
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In this exploration of the "very first utterance of philosophers," F. M. Cornford showed that the remarkable burst of abstract speculation among pre-Socratic thinkers of the sixth century B.C. emerged directly from the religious thought of the preceding era in Greece. Combining profound classical scholarship with striking anthropological and sociological insight, Cornford rejected the post-Darwinian rationalist assumption that religion and philosophy are fundamentally different from each other. His book supplies a needed reminder of the intricate connections between critical scientific thought and social and emotional experience. As he probes the mythic antecedents of such persistent metaphysical concepts as Destiny, God, Soul, Substance, Nature, and Immortality, Cornford warns us that "unless we have some grasp of that history [of myth], we are not likely to understand the speculation, which, however scientific its spirit may be, constantly operates with these religious ideas, and is to a large extent confined in its movement within the limits already traced by them." Classicists, historians of religion, students of ancient history, and everyone concerned with the subject of myth will find this lucid and highly original work to be a source of rich insights about the organic nature and continuity of Western thought.

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