The Great Chain of Being by Arthur Lovejoy

"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.

The 5454th greatest book of all time

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