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. Seven new chapters have been added, which further discuss the use of abstraction in Assyria and Babylonia, and the role of abstract ideas in the practice of divination. 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 Mesopotamia:


Part One

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
Logical Modality in Classical Athens
Eleven attributes of Being
Pythagoras and Totality
Solon in the court of Croesus
Being in Homer

Part Two

Abstract Conception before the Greeks (new chapter)
Ocean and the Limit of Existence
The Idea of the Plenum in Babylon (new chapter)
Pleroma, Cosmos, and Physical Existence  (new chapter)
Oannes and Divine Knowledge  (new chapter)
The Fifty names of Marduk
The Fixing of the Destinies (new chapter)
The Idea of Being in Israel
Knowledge and Belief in Israel  (new chapter)
The Making and the Renewal of the Gods
The Ritual sequence and its purpose
The Nineveh ritual
The Babylonian ritual
Divination in Antiquity  (new chapter)
Select Bibliography

[This chapter list is in progress]

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

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