Abstract Conception in Greece and Assyria (2017)

Abstract Conception in Greece and Assyria (formerly titled Being and Representation in Greece and Assyria) will be published in  2017.

The book is an edited revision of The Sacred History of Being, focusing on the understanding of abstraction in Greece and Mesopotamia, and the manner in which this understanding was expressed in their respective cultures. The period covered is from the middle years of the 2nd millennium B.C.E. up to the early years of the Common Era.

A significant part of The Sacred History of Being discussed the history of the modern ontological argument, which was developed by St Anselm and later taken up by other philosophers. This argument was shown to be faulty, and to be a barrier to the understanding of religious thought before the advent of Christianity.

Since it is not absolutely necessary to know the ins and outs of the modern ontological argument to understand the discussion of ancient ideas concerning the divine, these chapters have been removed from the text, along with some of the introductory chapters, and some other materials, in order to create a more concise version of the main argument. New chapters have been added, which further discuss the use of abstraction in Assyria and Babylonia, and explore the role of anthropology and anthropological approaches to the understanding of antiquity. The Preface and the Postscript have both been revised.

Publication details will follow later in the year. The book will be available in ePub format.


Chapter List for Abstract Conception in Greece and Assyria:

Part One.

Ancient Conjectures, and Fictive Intellectual History.
Frazer and the Association of Ideas.
Anthropology and Human Thought. 
Change and what is Permanent.
The Sweet Song of Swans.
The Academy.
The Platonic Theory of Being.
Plato’s Theory of Vision.
The Paradox of Knowledge.
Eleven attributes of Being.
Pythagoras and Totality.
Solon in the court of Croesus.
Being in Homer.

Part Two.

Ocean and the Limit of Existence.
Oannes and the Instruction of Mankind.
The Fifty names of Marduk.
The Idea of Being in Israel
Understanding Creation as a Sacred Tree.
Being, Kabbalah, and the Assyrian Sacred Tree.
Context and Variation in the Representation of the Sacred Tree.
The Making and the Renewal of the Gods.
The Ritual sequence and its purpose.
The Nineveh ritual
The Babylonian ritual
Select Bibliography.

[Updated August 5,  November 29,  December 2 & December 4, 2016, February 4, 2017, March 7,  March 31, 2017, May 4-5, 2017,  May 19 2017]

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