The Genesis of Philosophy: When Greece Met Africa

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9781942495055: The Genesis of Philosophy: When Greece Met Africa
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Wonder and curiosity, love of learning and critical questioning, and above all leisure for free intellectual pursuits and amicable discourse, are characteristics associated with genuine philosophia, as practiced and understood by the Ancient Hellenes. Plato and Aristotle, whose works mark the apex of Hellenic philosophy, agree on this essential point. For them, human wonder (thaumazein) was “the origin of philosophy” and they connected it with Egypt. This connection raises the following questions: What did the poets, the historians, and especially the philosophers of Ancient Hellas, know about the Egyptians, their civilized life, and their relation to Hellenic culture? How did the Hellenic philosophers, especially Plato and Aristotle, conceive of the origin of philosophy as a cultural phenomenon and its connection with Egypt? If it appears that the picture which the Ancient Hellenes had of themselves and the Egyptians does not cohere with the picture presented by Modern Europeans, which of the two is more historically accurate? This essay provides answers to these questions for the benefit of students and all lovers of truth.

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About the Author:

Christos C. Evangeliou is professor of philosophy at Towson University in Maryland, U.S.A. An expert in classical literature and Hellenic philosophy, he has published a variety of books and articles, as well as poetic collections, in both English and Modern Greek, his native language.

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