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Греки и иррациональное

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  439 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Книга современного английского филолога-классика Эрика Робертсона Доддса "Греки и иррациональное" (1949) стремится развеять миф об исключительной рациональности древних греков; опираясь на примеры из сочинений древнегреческих историков, философов, поэтов, она показывает огромное значение иррациональных моментов в жизни античного человека. Автор исследует отношение греков к ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published 2000 by Университетская книга (first published 1951)
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Jul 09, 2015 Manny marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

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Nov 05, 2012 Derek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite its age, this work by Dodds is still considered a seminal text for students of Greek history and classics. The usual survey-level understanding of the Greeks is that they were a culture which always put rationality on a pedestal at the expense of all else and ultimately ignored the irrational until well after the passing of the classical period. Dodds corrects this view, showing irrational impulses and institutions which were more widely accepted during the Archaic, Classical, and Hellen ...more
Erik Graff
Jan 30, 2009 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: classicists
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: psychology
Dodds was a classicist and member of the Society for Psychical Research who apparently got fed up enough with the hackneyed portrayal of the classical Greeks as rationalists to pen this popular study of the irrational elements of their culture and beliefs. It's an easy read and somewhat of an antidote to the usual picture given students in high school and introductory college courses.
Dec 05, 2015 Regan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While Ancient Greeks are most known for the triumph of rationalism over superstition and magic, E.R. Dodds presents an alternate history which demonstrates that, despite the intellectual advancements in the direction of reason, the Greeks (particularly Plato) of the Golden Age fundamentally retained certain pre-5th century magical (read: irrational) thinking within their traditions. Dodds thinks this is a good thing, since we are not merely thinking but also *feeling* agents--a fact that Socrate ...more
Jul 15, 2014 Feliks rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-history
Interesting topic; the writing is as dry as the dust on the Acropolis; but overall too fascinating to dismiss as just pedantic. If you want to get to know Greek culture, this is a good means; because it invokes a 'thinking-about' process rather than just 'receiving the stories'. The author --discussing various aspects of mental irrationality and how they might have been perceived by the Greeks--draws on numerous references. At the end of each chapter (e.g., 'madness', 'spiritual possession', 'pr ...more
Matthew Gallaway
I read this book four times in a row. The premise is that the advent of Socratic rationalism did not lead to an enlightened society (at least outside of an intellectual elite) in ancient Greece, but somewhat disastrously led to a popular/mainstream backlash that ushered in a new society that became increasingly irrational, superstitious, and fundamentalist (not to mention lacking in innovation from scientific and artistic perspectives) in ways that have amazing parallels to divisions in modern s ...more
Mary Catelli
A book on a somewhat loose and heterogeneous collection of concepts. Then, it was to combat the pop culture image of the Greeks as the perfect culture of rationality that the Enlightenment is so blameworthy for coming up with. (The middle ages get the equally and oppositely ridiculous image of the world of irrationality; for that I recommend C. S. Lewis's The Discarded Image.) To be sure, it uses the loose-goosey, pop culture notion of what's rationality and irrationality, but then, so does the ...more
Dec 28, 2010 Shinynickel marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Off this review:

Can you describe what your first book, The Greeks and the Irrational, is about?

This is one of the books that made me decide that Classics was worth spending a lifetime on. It starts with this extraordinary anecdote which is very meaningful for many readers. Dodds was at an exhibition of the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum and he got talking to a schoolboy. The boy told him: “I know it’s a terrible thing to say, but I don’t really like
Alan Johnson
Although I don't necessarily agree with every detail in this book, it is, overall, an excellent work of scholarship and interpretation. I especially like the way the author interprets how Plato attempted to modify the irrational Greek religion and culture into something more compatible with reason. Dodds was able to achieve this insight notwithstanding his acceptance of the conventional nineteenth- and twentieth-century view of Plato as having "developed," i.e., changed, in his philosophical vie ...more
A book I quite enjoyed, though I would not recommend it to many non-Classicists, as it is rather dry and scholarly - Dodds' book explores expressions of and reactions to the irrational in ancient Greek culture. Topics addressed include everything from strong emotions ("ate," "menos," the role of "thumos" and "psyche," kai ta loipa) to dreams to divine possession and madness (there's even an appendix on the Maenads). If you're a professional Hellenist, it's definitely worth a look, I'd say - if y ...more
Kristen Li
Feb 04, 2015 Kristen Li rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the reason why I don't like Academic Publications. Long sentences with poorly explained jargons used by Academia in a niche studying field. I feel bad for the author who had to waste so much of his time studying such a non-stimulating and useless subject. I feel even worse for my peers who have to read this book for class. This book should not be read in a high school Classical Civilization class. Teachers please don't torture your students with this book.
Oct 22, 2008 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely necessary book for anyone interested in having a framework for understanding Classical Greek Literature. It is a standard, and it is excellent--though definitely in the Greek Geek category.
Strong 3 stars,awesome research, some interesting and important conclusions that generalize a little too much for the liking of most, particularly in literature
Feb 14, 2015 Muzzy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I suggest everyone should read chapter 2 on shame- versus guilt-culture, as well as the excellent concluding chapter "Fear of Freedom."

In the last chapter, Dodds asks how it's possible for a civilization to walk right up to the edge of reason and then, at the last minute, retreat into magic and superstition. What caused this turn away from an "open" society? He does a great job reviewing all the socio-economic arguments, which he dismisses one by one. That leaves him with one hypothesis: some de
Jul 15, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not too long ago I developed the urge to revisit some of the ancient history I studied in college. My interest was always more in the areas surrounding history -- anthropology, psychology, sociology, etc. -- rather than straight-up names-and-dates history. This book was my first venture into this arena. I just finished re-reading it a couple weeks ago.

In short, Dodds examines how the ancient Greeks, prior to roughly 300 BCE, dealt with the unknown, pain, and death. He touches on many of the phil
Paolo D'Amelio
Sep 23, 2015 Paolo D'Amelio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Per me che mi sono rivolto al libro alla ricerca di un'esegesi della meccanica che "regola" i sentimenti degli eroi nei poemi omerici, sono state particolarmente illuminanti le pagine che Dodds dedica all'analisi delle celeberrime parole di Agamennone : "Zeus e il destino e l'Erinni viaggiatrice mi gettarono nel senno una feroce Ate" (Il. XIX). Il libro nel suo completo rimane, nonostante i suoi 60 anni, un contributo fondamentale, filologico e antropologico quasi "psicologico", per iniziare a c ...more
Jun 15, 2011 Fifthwindow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book, I enjoyed similarities between ancient "irrational" beliefs and modern "irrational" beliefs. This book was enjoyable for me even though I do not read greek and there are greek quotes on almost every page. The book would be much more enjoyable outside greek speaking or scholarly audiences if the non-english quotes were translated in footnotes. I read this book because it was mentioned on the the Julian Jaynes Sociey website. In regards to understanding Jaynes' theories the book ...more
Jul 01, 2008 Amy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book on a one click impulse a while back. I was reading an essay in the New Yorker or something snobby like the Atlantic. The writer was recalling the library of his friends father. The father was erudite and cool, the friend was a classic Andover jock. The writer told the father that he was a classics major and the father walked to shelf and pull out this book. The writer said the book was a pivot point in his classical career. I insta ordered the book despite having no interest i ...more
Ivan Soto
Sep 13, 2011 Ivan Soto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book comprehensively documents the many ways in which the Greeks, by many considered the founders of Western rationalism, were as thoroughly superstitions as anybody else. You have to be into the classics to enjoy this book. I enjoyed it a lot and really learned a lot about the superstitious ways of the Greeks from the 800's through the 300's BCE, mostly.
Guida Allès
Jan 06, 2016 Guida Allès rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: filosofia, història
El pensament a la Grècia arcaica fins al segle III. Zeus com a font de dons bons i dolents. Davant ell, els humans, indefensos, abrumats davant el misteri i el destí. La Hybris, com a font de desgràcia. Lhe llegit dues vegades, el 1997 i el 1981. ...more
Adrian Colesberry
Apr 08, 2009 Adrian Colesberry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting review of Greek philosophy and culture that critiques our standard view of them as being completely rational in their thinking, as the title implies. Well written and easy to follow, even if you're not knee-deep in Greek philosophy.
Feb 12, 2014 Vidar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lots of interesting tidbits, the description of dionisian ecstasy on page 273 gives headbanging in heavymetal a classical precedent it seems :)
Jun 11, 2015 sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming and educational, if a bit dated. Freud, the word on everything? I would think that adorable, but then I would be a dick. Oh, shit, fine,
Greeks and the Irrational by E.R. Dodds (1951)
Feb 08, 2014 Vincent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
κάλλος!! St. Basil would affirm.
Mari Biella
Mari Biella rated it really liked it
Oct 27, 2010
Dareia rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2015
Vance Lindahl
Vance Lindahl rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2012
Tyler rated it liked it
Jul 30, 2011
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Goodreads Librari...: Merge author 3 35 Oct 31, 2013 06:18PM  
  • The Discovery of the Mind: In Greek Philosophy and Literature
  • The World of Odysseus
  • Greek Religion
  • The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea
  • The Presocratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts
  • Dionysus: Myth and Cult
  • Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life
  • The Origins of Greek Thought
  • Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens
  • The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy
  • The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World
  • Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Collection of Ancient Texts
  • Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age
  • The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe CA. 1200 B.C., Third Edition
  • Preface to Plato
  • Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion
  • The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies
  • The First Philosophers: The Presocratics and Sophists
Eric Robertson Dodds was an Irish classical scholar. He signed all his publications E. R. Dodds.

More about E.R. Dodds...

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