By Bruno Snell
German classicist's huge examine of the origins of ecu idea in Greek literature and philosophy. magnificent, commonly influential. contains "Homer's View of Man," "The Olympian Gods," "The upward thrust of the person within the Early Greek Lyric," "Pindar's Hymn to Zeus," "Myth and truth in Greek Tragedy," and "Aristophanes and Aesthetic Criticism."
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Extra info for The Discovery of the Mind in Greek Philosophy and Literature
E. limbs with strong muscles, separated from each other by means of exaggerated joints. This difference is of course partially dependent upon the clothes they wore, but even after we have made due allowance for this the fact remains that the Greeks of this early period seem to have seen in a strangely ‘articulated’ way. In their eyes the individual limbs are clearly distinguished from each other, and the joints are, for the sake of emphasis, presented as extraordinarily thin, while the fleshy parts are made to bulge just as unrealistically.
In Christian thought God is intellect; our understanding of God is beset with grave difficulties, and the reason for this is a view of the intellect which was first worked out by the Greeks. By using the terms ‘discovery’ and ‘self-revelation’ of the intellect we do not mean to commit ourselves to a particular metaphysical position, or to make predictions about a pure intellect existing by itself beyond, and prior to, history. The two terms here convey more or less the same idea. The latter might perhaps be used to advantage in speaking of the early period, when a new understanding was gained in the form of mythic or poetic intuition, whereas the word ‘discovery’ is more appropriate for the philosophers and scientific thinkers.
They discovered the human mind. This drama, man’s gradual understanding of himself, is revealed to us in the career of Greek poetry and philosophy. The stages of the journey which saw a rational view of the nature of man establish itself are to be traced in the creations of epic and lyric poetry, and in the plays. The discovery of the intellect cannot be compared with the discovery of, let us say, a new continent. America had existed long before Columbus discovered the New World, but the European way of thinking did not come into being until it was discovered; it exists by grace of man’s cognizance of himself.