The Role of Medicine in the Formation of Early Greek Thought

Philip van der Eijk

in The Oxford Handbook of Presocratic Philosophy

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780195146875
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199892112 | DOI:


The Role of Medicine in the Formation of Early Greek Thought

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The philosophical aspects of Greek medicine are now more widely appreciated, not only by historians of science and medicine but also by students of philosophy in a more narrow sense. There has also been a greater appreciation of the fact that Greek medical writers not only reflect a derivative awareness of developments in philosophy but that they also actively contributed to the formation of philosophical thought more strictly defined, for instance by developing concepts and methodologies for the acquisition of knowledge and understanding. Yet the consequences of this for a renewed study of the formation of Greek philosophy have yet to be drawn; and disciplinary boundaries between historians of medicine on the one hand and philosophers and historians of philosophy on the other still pose obstacles to an integrated account of Greek thought that takes on board the contributions by the medical writers. Some preliminary remarks may therefore be in order.

Keywords: Greek medicine; historians; science; philosophy; medical writers

Article.  13696 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science

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