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The Age of Descartes (DESCARTES 3)
F. Bigotti
Physiology of the Soul
Mind, Body and Matter in the Galenic Tradition of Late Renaissance (1550-1630)

approx. 300 p., 31 b/w ill. + 17 colour ill., 7 b/w tables, 156 x 234 mm, 2019
ISBN: 978-2-503-58161-3
Languages: English
The publication is in production.The publication is in production. (10/2019)
Retail price: approx. EUR 75,00 excl. tax
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A new reading of the debate on mind, body and matter, taking into account the largely uncharted territory of Galenic medicine in the Late Renaissance period

In spite of the common opinion which has it that Galen's authority was gradually superseded by Vesalius and his followers, a closer look at the influence of Galen's psychological works on physicians and philosophers of the early modern period reveals quite a different picture. Not only were Galenists often keen to embrace the new anatomical discoveries, eventually they even contributed to shaping a series of new analytical, practical and experimental tools that started an in-depth transformation of the traditional rationale, with far-reaching and unexpected consequences in domains such as theory of matter, philosophical anthropology and medical experimentation. Through the lens provided by mental disease and its connection to the soul, a new concept of the body and the human animal ultimately emerges: a concept that accompanies the development of early modern ideas on subjectivity and the self.

Fabrizio Bigotti is Senior Research Fellow at the Institut für Geschichte der Medizin of the Julius-Maximilians University in Würzburg (Germany), and Honorary Research Fellow of the Centre for Medical History of the University of Exeter (UK). He has held postdoctoral and research positions at the Warburg Institute of London, the University of Exeter, the University of Padua and the Folger Institute of Washington D.C., and is the founder and current Director of the Centre for the Study of Medicine and the Body in the Renaissance (CSMBR) in Pisa. His interests cover areas such as metaphysics, history of technology and reconstruction of historical instruments, and history of quantification and applied mathematics, with a particular emphasis on the recovery of classical and medieval philosophy, literature and experimental practices in the early modern period.

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
List of Figures
List of Plates

Part One: Premises

Chapter One: Body and Anatomy in the Galenic Tradition
The Reflourishing of Anatomical Studies
Questions of Method
Soul and Anatomy
Materia sentiens
Generation and Essence
Galenic Anthropology
Alexandrianism and Galenism

Chapter Two: The Soul, A Physical Question
The Seat of the Rational Soul
The Brain: Form and Function
Sensus communis
The Relation between the Whole and Its Parts
Vexatae quaestiones
Innate Heat
A Late-Renaissance Polemic: Cesare Cremonini and Pompeo Caimo
Medicine for the Soul and Treatment for the Passions

Part Two: Developments

Chapter Three: From Galen to Huarte: The Quod animi mores and the 'Theory of Ingenium'
Themes and Arguments in the Quod animi mores
Constitution, Typology, and Physiognomy
Analogy and Consecution: An Advanced Model
Juan Huarte's Examen de ingenios (1575)
Natura facit habilem
From Degree to Essence: Intuition and Genius
Principles of Eugenics
From mens to ingenium

Chapter Four: The Matter of the Spirit
Antonio Persio's Trattato dell'ingegno dell'huomo (1576)
From Galenism to Naturalism: Agostino Doni's De natura hominis libri duo (1581)
Naturalism and Medicine in Bernardino Telesio's Quod animal universum (1590)
The 'Two Souls' in Telesio's Philosophy
Spiritus ingenium est: From Physiology to Ethics
Eustachio Rudio's Liber de anima (1611)
Heat and Life
The Vegetable-Animal Continuum
Essence, Quality, and Degree

Part Three: Reactions and Consequences

Chapter Five: Passion and Pathology: The Response of Aristotelianism
The Individual, Nature, and Character in Francesco Piccolomini's Universa philosophia de moribus (1583)
Causal Consecution
Natural Inclination and Pathology
Cesare Cremonini's Quaestio: utrum animi mores corporis sequantur temperamentum
Lectures I-III
Lectures IV-V
Lectures VI-VII
Forms of Causality: The Model of Intrinsic Finality
Giovanni Battista Persona's Commentary on the Quod animi mores (1602)
The Ambiguous Relation between Mind and Brain
'Removing the Animal'

Chapter Six: Beyond Tradition: Santorio and Descartes
The Concept of Equilibrium Transformed: Santorio
From Degree to Quantity
Differences and Analogies: Santorio, Galileo, and Alexandrian Science
Substance and Quality in the Methodus vitandorum errorum omnium (1603)
Situs, Figura, Numerus
The Body and the Machine
Sources and Problems in Descartes' Medicine
Experiment or Observation? Descartes on the Movement of the Heart and the Arteries
Unsettling Similarities
Descartes and Naturalism: A Project in Common
Vestiges of Animality

Final Remarks: The Role of Tradition in Medical Thought

- Manuscripts
- Ancient Print Editions (Up to the 18th Century)
- Secondary Literature


Interest Classification:
Sciences & Technology
History of Medicine
Modern History (1501 to the present)
Early modern history (1501-1800) : main subdisciplines
Cultural & intellectual history

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