Tag Archives: Aristotle

Being our best selves: hidden in full view

James Stoller Peter Rea Alan Kolp Cleveland, Ohio, United States   Figure 1. Pillars and pediment We live in a paradox framed by a tension between age-old wisdom about excellence and our current state. The paradox is this: our behaviors and our priorities are often at odds with age-old truths about how we can be […]

Dr. Peabody, the ideal medical practitioner

Rachel Bright Kevin Qosja Liam Butchart Stony Brook, New York, United States   Embankment by Rachel Whiteread. Turbine Hall, The Tate Modern, Bankside, London. 12 November 2005. Photo by Fin Fahey. In part inspired by the aftermath of her mother’s death, the white boxes are reminiscent of the many boxes the artist had to pack […]

Science versus religion: the medieval disenchantment

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. An engraving showing a monopod or sclapod, a female Cyclops, conjoined twins, a blemmye, and a cynocephali. By Sebastian Münster 1544. Source History is a novel whose author is the people. -Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863)   In medieval times, knowledge, beliefs, and faith were largely centered upon a […]

Mental illness in art

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Corridor in the Asylum. Vincent can Gogh. 1889. Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is often said that creative art is linked to eccentricity, sometimes bordering on madness. Examples abound of great musicians, writers, and artists who at some time in their lives were deranged and often committed to institutions for […]

Medical innovations made by doctors during the Napoleonic Wars

Craig Stout Aberdeen, Scotland   The Battle of Waterloo (1815), oil painting by William Sadler. Pyms Gallery, London. The Napoleonic Wars (1799 to 1815) brought great upheaval and turmoil to Europe, with as many as 2.5 million soldiers and 1 million civilians losing their lives. French military physicians, principally Dominique Jean-Larrey, made significant contributions to […]

Where philosophy and medicine overlap

Mariami Shanshashvili Tbilisi, Georgia   Achilles bandaging Patroclus’s wounded arm. Ink drawing after an Attic cup by the potter Sosias, c.500 B.C. Achilles bandaging Patroclus’s wounded arm. Ink drawing after an Attic cup by the potter Sosias, c. 500 B.C. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY In Plato’s Charmides there is a remark by Socrates that is neither […]

Aristotle and the four humors

Aristotle is one of the greatest philosophers of all time. He has influenced human thought for almost 2500 years and many of his works are as relevant today as they were in the days of ancient Greece. Students of his philosophical works are likely to be familiar with his Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, Rhetoric, and Poetics, […]

History of nephrology vignettes

Hippocrates: “Those whose urine is merely blood-stained have suffered in the veins. When urine is thick, and there are passed with it small pieces of flesh like hair, you must know that these symptoms result from the kidneys and arthritic complaints.” Bubbles appearing on the surface of the urine indicate disease of the kidneys and […]

A theologian answers questions about the heart: St. Thomas Aquinas’ De Motu Cordis

Michael Potts North Carolina, United States   An altarpiece in Ascoli Piceno, Italy by Carlo Crivelli (15th century) Suppose you are a high school teacher in a basic biology class and you have a question about the function of the heart. You decide to ask an expert, so you dial a university and ask for […]

Philosophy of science and medicine X: Aristotle to the early 20th Century

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, IL (Winter 2017) Aristotle What is natural law? There are certain values in human nature that can be understood through human reason. This implies the use of reason to evaluate binding rules of moral behavior. Inherent in the use of reason, from the Greek philosophers onward, at least in Western Civilization, […]