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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 27, Issue 3, 2017

Values and Ideals. Theory and Practice: Part IV

Martha C. Beck
Pages 173-187

Neuroscience, Ancient Wisdom and the ISUD
Is There Anything New under the Sun?

This paper links the claims of neuroscientist Antonio Damasio to the civilization of the Ancient Greeks. Although Damasio’s book, Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow and the Feeling Brain, makes the argument for the connection between Spinoza and neuroscience, he says that he prefers Aristotle’s model of human flourishing, but he does not describe Aristotle’s model. I explain Aristotle’s model and connect neuroscience to Aristotle and to the educational system underlying Greek mythology, Hesiod, Homer, tragedy and other aspects of Greek culture, including the role of the arts, religious rituals and the institutions of Greek democracy.