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(PDF READ) [Early Greek Science Thales to Aristotle] ã G.E.R. Lloyd

Heroes Die hTopical but itits all the igh notes and keeps judgment to a minimum This might be an appropriate text for a class as long as it is supplemented with serious material for focus Fascinating read I think this is a really great starting point for people interested in Greek science but you would still need to read specific works particularly on 4th century astronomy Plato Hippocrates and Aristotle in order to really grasp the importance of the developments Lloyd puts under discussion i ve used this and its companion volume with undergraduates and they are very good Not a substitute for Dicks Ancient Greek Astronomy or Neugebauer of course But good introductins and very very readable excellent book This is a andy little introduction to what the ancients would The Strathmore Club have called natural philosophy They didn tave science the way we think of it today but they did still try to understand the natural world Pampa Pampa how it works andow it came to be Lloyd writes clearly and gives a great understanding of what the ancient uestions were and ow thinkers tried to come up with answers The book doesn t waste time trying to show all of the ways in which the ancients were wrong by modern standards He doesn t deny this but instead of making it the focus e focuses on the miraculous depth of understanding that the ancients did seem to Geometry Part 1: Quickstudy Laminated Reference Guide (Quick Study Academic) have and the way that their scientific inuiries were able to reach a critical mass by the time of Aristotle This makes the great philosopher seem like aistorical inevitability than some miraculous genius although genius e surely was too The book covers ancient physics material science medicine mathematics astronomy and biology In particular the book focuses on physics material science and astronomy as well as basic scientific

*method because these *
because these the most developed fields during this period Medicine was also very developed during this period but is too most developed fields during this period Medicine was also very developed during this period but is too a topic to do justice to in such a short book If you are interested in that I recommend Nutton s Ancient Medicine I found the Section On Astronomy Difficult on astronomy difficult the ancient models of the cosmos in which planets stars sun and moon are attached to rotating spheres were ard for me to visualize There are several Historical Archaeology: Why the Past Matters helpful diagrams to illustrate this but I still struggled to wrap my mind around their models This book made me excited to get ahold the seuel Greek Science After Aristotle It was the awakening of the scientific mind the opening of the spirit of man to the nature of inuiry and the beginnings of uantification and experimentation Early Greek Science Thales to Aristotle and Greek Science After Aristotle by GER Lloyd are studies of Greek science from Thales of Miletus in 585 BC to Galen of Pergamum in 180 AD and the decline of ancient science While there is no direct Greek translation of our word science Lloyd s thesis nevertheless is that modern day science began with the Greeks While the main thesis of both books are the same their intent is different Book one concentrates on the development of two key methodological principles of the early Greeks The first is an application of mathematics to the understanding of natural phenomena and the second is the performance of empirical re search on defined problems Book two takes these principles and discusses the later Greeks successes and failures while working with them The books are structured topically with physics biology astronomy and mathematics being the four branches of science that are most closely studied Lloyd makes numerous anachronistic comparisons throughout the books often stating that a certain theory was successful He views some of the successes as would a presentist but also explores obvious failures in a diachronical sense He seems to make these relationships of success to sub stantiateis thesis that a line can be drawn from ancient to modern science Book one begins with Thales Anaximander and Anaximenes who are the Milesians that provide the first distinction between the natural and the supernatural Instead of creating a mythology to explain natural occurrences such as lightening and thunder they attempted to give naturalistic explanations The Milesians main contribution was that they grasped the problems that confronted them and attempted to account for the problem of change with their materialistic cosmological doctrines The Pythagoreans differed from the. This study traces Greek science through the work of the Pythagoreans the Presocratic natural philosophers the Hippocratic writers Plato the fourt. ,

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Early Greek Science Thales to AristotleMaterialistic Milesians belief with their principle that all things were actually num bers With this idea they were the first to uantify nature and develop deductive methods in mathematics They carried out empir ical investigations in acoustics and produced a cosmological system which removed the earth from the center The study of physical systems and natural science also yielded methodological advancements Those who studied the physi cal systems dealt with problems of change and debated on the reliability of pure reason and the senses The Hippocratic writ ers were the first to contend that disease was a natural phenome na They made case studies
*and performed methodological *
performed methodological tion in the diagnosis of disease The fourth century astronomers carried the numerical appli cations of the Pythagoreans to a larger proving ground the eavens Astronomy was studied for practical reasons determining the farmer s year and regulating the calender but it was Plato who contributed the most by applying mathematics to the under standing of natural phenomena and physical order While Plato established the first methodological principle of the early Greeks Aristotle provided the second Aristotle advocated the idea of empirical research to the process of inves tigation His book the Organon details the structure Of Axiomatic Deductive System his axiomatic deductive system felt that the aim of natural science was reveal causes of natural phenomena Aristotle contributed to numerous areas of thought including biology meteorology and physics His founding of the Lyceum established a center for research which far exceeded any other previous attempt Book two begins with the Hellenistic period 322 122 BC This period benefited from the cultural policies of the Ptole mies who granted financial support for scientific inuiries Theophrastus of Eresus and Strato of Lampsacus succeeded Aristo tle as eads of the Lyceum Theophrastus did not conduct experi ments but was the first to identify a mineral product as fuel His major contributions were collecting and classifying species of animals and plants In contrast Strato used experimentation than any other Greek for investigation for example e attempted to prove experimentally that falling bodies acceler ated Hellenistic mathematics proved to be the most permanent and lasting contribution of all Greek thought Euclid s Elements employed a deductive system in the first mathematical text book and is still in use today Other Hellenistic mathematicians suc cessfully applied math to new fields Archimedes studied statics and problems of the lever Eratosthenes applied math to geography and made a close determination of the circumference of the earth and Appolonius studied and coined the terms ellipse Releasing Heaven on Earth: Gods Principles for Restoring the Land hyperbola and parabola Hellenistic astronomy expanded on Eudoxes previous system of concentric spheres Aristarchus was the most successful of the astronomers withis The Future of English Teaching Worldwide heliocentric model of theeavens Hippar chus also contributed with Between his development of observational devices such as the dioptra for sighting and the astrolabe The problems with these astronomers were in their attempts to save the appearances so that observation and mathematical reasoning corresponded to each other In their struggle to do this they often ignored key data that did not fit the theory Biology and Medicine of the Hellenistic Age was led by Herophilus of Chalcedon and Erasistratus of Ceos Herophilus studied anatomy and recognized that the brain was the center of the nervous system His main contribution was in the diagnostic value of the pulse Erasistratus used mechanical ideas to explain organic processes He discovered the differences between the veins and arteries and knew the functions of the four main valves of theeart He failed in is conception that the veins carried air throughout the body Mechanics and technology were based on the five known de vices lever pulley wedge windlass and screw The motives for construction of these devices were for war machines practical use and amusement Technology often was slow to be diffused and taken advantage of The water wheel exemplified this because of the insufficient water supply and the abundance of slave labor A successful use of technology that caught on uickly was the pompein rotary mill which used animals to grind grain The major failure of the Greeks in this area was in the fact that th. H century BC astronomers and Aristotle G E R Lloyd also investigates the relationships between science and philosophy and science and medicine; Ey did not use steam or wind as a motive power for their machines The main reason for lack of development was that society did not motive power for their machines The main reason for lack of development was that society did not a great emphasis on these fields Two great thinkers emerged in the second century AD who represented a culmination of Greek thought and science The first Ptolemy of Alexandria wrote the Almagest which became the most comprehensive treaty on astronomy He carried out the aims of is predecessors by advancing the value of mathematical calcu lation over observation Ptolemy described models for the moon and mercury and described the size of the epicycle eccentricity and the magnitude and duration of retrogradations for each pla net Problems that arise with Ptolemy are the same as with the fourth century Hellensitic astronomers in that David Starr Space Ranger he ignored data to save the appearances The second great thinker was Galen of Pergamum His main work was in biology and medicine ande often applied this knowledge to Crusader conspiracy Banner books his occupation as surgeon to the galdiators He correctly interpreted the function of the livereart and brain and refuted Erasistratus theory that the veins carried air He performed a vast amount of empirical research by dissecting and vivisecting animals The main motive of The Book of Earths: Hollow Earth, Ancient Maps, Atlantis, and Other Theories (Forgotten Books) his research was to prove that nature did nothing without order or purpose Book two ends with a discussion on the decline of ancient science Lloyd contends that science did not abruptly end after 200 AD but gradually faded away Christianity became an obsta cle to the growth and development of scientific thought The Christians thought that truth came from neither observation nor reason but from divine intervention With this attitude in power pagan scientistsad a difficult position to work against Lloyd says that Greek science never really died It was rediscovered by Kepler and Galileo who studied the works of Plato and Pythagoras in their search for mathematical order Reviews on the books were extremely positive In an article in The Classical Journal Vol72 October 1976 p 82 John Scar borough applauded Lloyd for separating ancient philosophy from science He said that Farrington and Stahl failed to consider the science of this period The American Historical Review Vol 77 December 1972 p 1421 in a review on the first book of Lloyd s by Michael Jame son regretted that nothing on technology was covered He was positive in the treatment of the formulation of the problems of science and the use of empirical research and mathematical appli cation A review of book two in The Classical World Vol69 March 1976 p 407 by Stephen Waite states that these books provide a good compliment to Sarton s History of Science Waite feels that the modern concept of science is reached with the Hellenistic period and particularly with the mathematicians He recommends these books for any course in ancient science My own thoughts on these books are also positive but I do ave some criticisms First on the positive side I feel that Lloyd gives a well structured for the most part clear discus sion on the topic of Greek science I agree that modern day science began with the Greeks as it was they who established the methodological principles that underlie any systematic inuiry the Greeks as it was they who established the methodological principles that underlie any systematic inuiry criticism is with is brief inclusion of technology as a subset of science He stated in the preface of book one that there was little information on the interaction between science and technology but the inclusion of the chapter in book two on applied mechanics and technology proved that there was informa tion on this subject and I feel it warrants a separate discus sion Overall I now feel I ave an appreciation for what the relatively few Greeks did in such a diverse and unknown area which is what we call science They contributed in fields from petrology to anatomy to applied physics and firmly established themselves as pioneers to the future generations who would even tually rediscover and reinterpret to the future generations who would even tually rediscover and reinterpret With a diachronistic view these men were natural philosophers and mathematicians but with an anachronistic eye these men were scientists This is a classic that reuires an update based on scholarship from the past few decades A short readable summary of science before it was called science starting with the Presocratics and ending with Aristotle Amazingly good The construction of points is so clear to understand Very elpful for novice in philosophy like E discusses the social and economic setting of early Greek science; and e analyzes the motives and incentives of the different groups of writers.

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