The failure of the Greek mind and the failure of the modern mind

From The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant:

“Here indeed was the great defect of the Greek mind: it was not disciplined; it lacked limiting and steadying traditions; it moved freely in an uncharted field, and ran too readily to theories and conclusions. So Greek philosophy leaped on to heights unreached again, while Greek science limped behind. Our modern danger is precisely opposite; inductive data fall upon us from all sides like the lava of Vesuvius; we suffocate with uncoördinated facts; our minds are overwhelmed with science breeding and multiplying into specialistic chaos for want of synthetic thought and a unifying philosophy. We are all mere fragments of what a man might be.”

This might be caricatured as “too much philosophy, too little experimentation in Ancient Greece; too much data, too little philosophy in the modern mind.”


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