Arthur Lovejoy

Arthur Oncken Lovejoy was an American philosopher and intellectual historian, who founded the discipline of the history of ideas with his most influential work 'The Great Chain of Being' (1936). He was born on October 10, 1873, and died on December 30, 1962. Lovejoy spent nearly four decades as a professor at Johns Hopkins University. He was a co-founder of the American Association for the Advancement of the Humanities and a long-time advocate for the importance of liberal arts education.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Great Chain of Being

    "The Great Chain of Being" is an intellectual history that traces the philosophical idea of the "Great Chain of Being" from the ancient Greeks through the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, and into the 19th century. The concept posits a hierarchical structure of all matter and life, with God at the top, descending through angels, humans, animals, plants, and minerals. The book explores how this concept has influenced Western thought, particularly in relation to the natural world, social order, and God's place in the universe.