Four philosophical ideas ancient Greek philosophers ‘borrowed’ from the Egyptians

Nii Ntreh January 26, 2020
Close-Up marble statue of the Greek philosopher Socrates. Photo Credit:

Knowledge, on its own merit, is better considered the property of all humanity.

This may seem like a lofty idea but since cultures learn from each other all the time, it would be counterproductive to insist on withholding information that is universally utilizable.

Of course, many aspects of the modern world prohibit a free exchange of ideas and information. Patenting comes to mind.

For much of human history, however, the opening paragraph rang true. It is in this vein that we can look at what the earliest Greeks learned from the Egyptians as a sort of transfer of knowledge.

But sometimes, there is pushback from Afrocentric enthusiasts and scholars when Greek civilization comes up as a topic. This is usually because there is never any acknowledgment that certain aspects of ancient Greek thought and practice were borrowed from Kemet or ancient Egypt.

Indeed, the project to push ancient Greece as a unique instance of human history that learned from no one else has spurred white supremacist ideology.

It helps to remind ourselves of the proper historical context. As follows are four philosophical ideas the Greeks took from the Egyptians.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: January 26, 2020


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