The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea

ISBN 10: 1412810264 / ISBN 13: 9781412810265
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This is arguably the seminal work in historical and philosophical analysis of the twentieth century. Originally delivered for the William James lecture series at Harvard University in 1932-33, it remains the cornerstone of the history of ideas. Lovejoy sees philosophy's history as one of confusion of ideas, a prime example of which is the idea of a "great chain of being"--a universe linked in theology, science and values by pre-determined stages in all phases of life.

Lovejoy's view is one of dualities in nature and society, with both error and truth as part of the natural order of things. The past reminds us that the ruling modes of thought of our own age, which we may view as clear, coherent and firmly grounded, are unlikely to be seen with such certainty by posterity. The Great Chain of Being is an excursion into the past, with a clear mission--to discourage the assumption that all is known, or that what is known is not subject to modifi cation at a later time.

Lovejoy reaffirms the "intrinsic worth of diversity," as a caution against certitude. By this he does not mean toleration of indiff erence, or relativity for its own sake, but an appreciation of mental and physical process of human beings. As Peter Stanlis notes in his introduction: "Faith in the great chain of being was fi nally largely extinguished by the combined infl uences of Romantic idealism, Darwin's theory of evolution, and Einstein's theory of relativity." Few books remain as alive to prospects for the future by reconsidering follies of the past as does Lovejoy's stunning work.

From the Back Cover: 'Men are galvanized by ideas and act as vehicles for them ...Such a ruling idea is that of the great chain of being. Prof. Lovejoy's study records the birth, the growth, the vicissitudes, transformations, and finally the senility, and perhaps the death of this idea. The study is as fascinating as that of the rise and decay of an empire, and, in fact, it is the study of the empire of an idea over human minds throughout many centuries...Prof. Lovejoy's approach is fresh and different.' Modern Language Notes

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Book Description Transaction Publishers, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Item may show signs of shelf wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. Includes supplemental or companion materials if applicable. Access codes may or may not work. Connecting readers since 1972. Customer service is our top priority. Bookseller Inventory # mon0001041437

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Arthur O. Lovejoy (author), Peter J. Stanlis (introduction)
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Book Description Taylor Francis Inc, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is arguably the seminal work in historical and philosophical analysis of the twentieth century. Originally delivered for the William James lecture series at Harvard University in 1932-33, it remains the cornerstone of the history of ideas. Lovejoy sees philosophy s history as one of confusion of ideas, a prime example of which is the idea of a great chain of being --a universe linked in theology, science and values by pre-determined stages in all phases of life. Lovejoy s view is one of dualities in nature and society, with both error and truth as part of the natural order of things. The past reminds us that the ruling modes of thought of our own age, which we may view as clear, coherent and firmly grounded, are unlikely to be seen with such certainty by posterity. The Great Chain of Being is an excursion into the past, with a clear mission--to discourage the assumption that all is known, or that what is known is not subject to modifi cation at a later time. Lovejoy reaffirms the intrinsic worth of diversity, as a caution against certitude.By this he does not mean toleration of indiff erence, or relativity for its own sake, but an appreciation of mental and physical process of human beings. As Peter Stanlis notes in his introduction: Faith in the great chain of being was fi nally largely extinguished by the combined infl uences of Romantic idealism, Darwin s theory of evolution, and Einstein s theory of relativity. Few books remain as alive to prospects for the future by reconsidering follies of the past as does Lovejoy s stunning work. Bookseller Inventory # AA69781412810265

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Book Description Taylor Francis Inc, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is arguably the seminal work in historical and philosophical analysis of the twentieth century. Originally delivered for the William James lecture series at Harvard University in 1932-33, it remains the cornerstone of the history of ideas. Lovejoy sees philosophy s history as one of confusion of ideas, a prime example of which is the idea of a great chain of being --a universe linked in theology, science and values by pre-determined stages in all phases of life. Lovejoy s view is one of dualities in nature and society, with both error and truth as part of the natural order of things. The past reminds us that the ruling modes of thought of our own age, which we may view as clear, coherent and firmly grounded, are unlikely to be seen with such certainty by posterity. The Great Chain of Being is an excursion into the past, with a clear mission--to discourage the assumption that all is known, or that what is known is not subject to modifi cation at a later time. Lovejoy reaffirms the intrinsic worth of diversity, as a caution against certitude.By this he does not mean toleration of indiff erence, or relativity for its own sake, but an appreciation of mental and physical process of human beings. As Peter Stanlis notes in his introduction: Faith in the great chain of being was fi nally largely extinguished by the combined infl uences of Romantic idealism, Darwin s theory of evolution, and Einstein s theory of relativity. Few books remain as alive to prospects for the future by reconsidering follies of the past as does Lovejoy s stunning work. Bookseller Inventory # AA69781412810265

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