August 31, 2005 Geoffrey Lloyd To Discuss "Delusions of Invulnerability" on Oct. 5

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639

Sir Geoffrey Lloyd, emeritus professor of ancient philosophy and science at the University of Cambridge, will discuss his book "Delusions of Invulnerability: Wisdom and Morality in Ancient Greece, China and Today," at the Library of Congress at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 5, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event, sponsored by the Kluge Center, is free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

In "Delusions of Invulnerability,” Lloyd uses ancient Greek and Chinese ideas and practices as a basis for critical reflections on the predicaments faced in today’s world. The main focus is on the key Greek ideal of the equal participation of all citizens in the political process and on the Chinese ideal of a dedication to the welfare of all under heaven.

How were the aims of philosophy and the responsibilities of philosophers conceived in ancient Greece and China? How were the learned elite recruited and controlled? How did the different types of audiences they faced and the institutions in which they worked influence their speculations and advice? How was a yearning for invulnerability reconciled with a sense of human frailty? Lloyd discusses these questions in his book and will comment on them in his talk.

As emeritus professor of ancient philosophy and science at Cambridge, Lloyd is a leading expert in the field; his work covers the cultures of both East and West. He also has been a senior tutor of King’s College, Cambridge, master of Darwin College, Cambridge, and a trustee of the Needham Research Institute. In 1997, the British government knighted Lloyd for “services to the history of thought.”

Among his many books are: "Demystifying Mentalities" (1990); "Methods and Problems in Greek Science" (1991); "Adversaries and Authorities" (1996); "Aristotelian Explorations" (1996); "Le Savoir Grec" (edited with Jacques Brunschwig) (1996); "The Ambitions of Curiosity" (2002); "The Way and the Word" (with Nathan Sivin) (2002); "In the Grip of Disease: Studies in the Greek Imagination" (2003); and "Ancient Worlds, Modern Reflections (2004)."

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize scholarly discussion, distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information about any of the fellowships, grants and programs offered by the John W. Kluge Center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302, fax (202) 707-3595, or visit


PR 05-184
ISSN 0731-3527