Philosophy and Medicine in the Formative Period of Islam

Thu 18 January 2018

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Philosophy and Medicine in the Formative Period of Islam

Philosophy and Medicine in the Formative Period of Islam

 

Publication date:  26 January 2018

Many of the leading philosophers in the Islamic world were doctors, yielding extensive links between philosophy and medicine. The twelve papers in this volume explore these links, focusing on the classical or formative period (up to the eleventh century AD). One central theme is the Arabic reception of the two outstanding figures of Greek medicine, Hippocrates and Galen – we learn how Hippocrates was made into a mouthpiece for ethical wisdom, and how Galen influenced ideas in ethics and the nature of plant life. Aristotle is also considered, with a study of the reception of his ideas on longevity. Several of the luminaries of philosophy in the early Islamic world are also studied, including Abū Bakr al-Rāzī, al-Fārābī, and Avicenna: all of them deploy medical ideas in their philosophical writings, whether to treat emotional distress as a kind of illness, to explain the function of eyesight, to compare the well-functioning state to the healthy human body, or to draw on anatomical ideas in works on psychology. Conversely, the volume also includes research on the use of philosophical ideas in medical texts, including medical compendia and the works of ʿAlī ibn Riḍwān. Attention is also given to the connections between medicine and Islamic theology (kalām). As a whole, the book provides both a survey of the kinds of work being done in this relatively unexplored area, and a springboard for further research. More details here