This unparalleled comparative study of early Eastern and Western philosophy challenges every existing belief about the philosophical foundations of Western civilization. Spanning thirty years of intense intellectual inquiry and research, the author proves what many scholars before him have sensed but couldn't empirically explain: that the seemingly autonomous and separate metaphysical schemes of Greek and Indian cultures have mutually influenced each other over a long period of time, to the point that today's Western world must be considered the product of both Eastern and Western thought. The author's groundbreaking research systematically unveils striking similarities between the early metaphysical ideas central to Eastern and Western philosophies. Thomas McEvilley explores the key philosophical paradigms of these cultures, such as monism, the doctrine of reincarnation in India and Egypt, and early pluralism in Greece and India, to show how trade, imperialism, and migration currents have allowed these ideas to circulate and intermingle freely throughout India, Greece, and the Near East. This sweeping inter-disciplinary study will captivate students and scholars of philosophy, cultural studies, and classics, who will find that their field has been put on an entirely new footing.
"To neglect this book will be an act of intellectual treason..." - Som Raj Gupta, the author of The Word speaks to the Faustian Man
"Reading it is like reading a novel. Thomas McEvilley has given us the novelistic anthropology of out time." - David Shapi
About the Author(s)
Thomas McEvilley is distinguished lecturer in Art History at Rice University, where he has been on the faculty since 1969. The author of Greek and Indian culture, history of religion and philosophy, and art, he has published countless scholarly monographs and articles in various journals on early Greek poetry, philosophy, and religion. He has been a visiting professor at Yale University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. He was the recipient of a Fullbright Scholarship in 1993 and has been awarded an NEA critic's grant and the Frank Criticism by the College Art Association. His other books include Sculpture in the Age of Doubt (Allworth Press). He lives in New York City.