Lecture: Geoffrey E.R. Lloyd

University of Rome Tor Vergata

Research Centre «Forms of Knowledge in the Ancient World»

in cooperation with:

PhD Course «Antichità classiche e loro fortuna. Archeologia, Filologia, Storia»
PhD Course in Philosophy
Scuola Superiore di Studi in Filosofia

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Images and arguments in ancient Greece and China. A cross-cultural perspective


Lecture by

Sir Geoffrey E.R. Lloyd, F.B.A.

Prof. Em. University of Cambridge
Needham Research Institute, Cambridge


Friday 28 April 2015, h. 11
Macroarea di Lettere e Filosofia (1 Columbia st., Rome)
Building B, 3rd floor, conference room «Roberto Pretagostini»

download the pdf poster (1,87 mb)


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Geoffrey E.R. Lloyd, historian of science and ancient philosophy at the University of Cambridge, is Senior Scholar in Residence at the Needham Research Institute. Fellow of the British Academy
since 1983, in 1987 he received by the History of Science Society the George Sarton Medal. Honorary foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, member of the International Academy for the History of Science, since 1989 he has been Master of Darwin College, Cambridge, of which he is still an honorary member. In 1997 he received a knighthood for «the service rendered to the history of thought». In 2013 he obtained in Israel the prestigious Dan David Prize on the modern legacy of ancient world, with the following statement: «Sir Geoffrey Lloyd is the greatest living scholar of the history of ancient science, who has completely transformed the field over the last four decades. He has brought together insights from anthropology, sociology and general history to bear upon the history of ideas, and initiated the research program of comparative studies of Greek and Chinese science. He showed how Greek science is a product of Greek society, and he crucially uncovered the great diversity of Greek scientific practices».

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«There is no society, that does not engage in persuasion, and although that may proceed in very different ways, ranging from setting an example to threats of force, one of the commonest modes is, to be sure, by argument. We do not find precisely identical cosmological images across the board in early Greek or Chinese thought, and it is surely obvious that there is considerable cross-cultural variety in how heaven and earth and humans and everything else are imagined as forming some kind of more or less ordered whole. But a second obvious point relates to the variety in that variety, I mean for instance the variety within Greek cosmology».