The Affinity Between Philosophy And Medicine In Maimonides

The close connection between philosophy and medicine is evident and demonstrable among thinkers in Islamic countries. The Latin philosophers, on the other hand, did not continue in this tradition; probably because of a different evaluation of the body and its functions.

Medicine and philosophy are sisters; one delivers the soul of passions, the other removes diseases from the body. Hippocrates (1994). Medical art. Translation by Emile Littre, texts presented, commented and annotated by Danielle Gourevitch, introduction by Danielle Gourevitch, Mirko Grmek and Pierre Pellegrino. The paperback, Paris, p. 15. This is an apocryphal thing that Democritus is supposed to have written to Hippocrates.

“I claim that whoever wants to deal exactly with the regime of man must first know and discern the nature of man in general: know his basic constituents and discern the elements that predominate.  “Hippocrates (1994), p. 2.

“It is precisely he who discovered the theory of proportions and the existence of a structure of the forms of the universe. Proclus 6a, in the Presocratics (1988). Library of the Pleiade, Gallimard, Paris, p. 56.

“According to Alcmeon, it is the equilibrium of powers, such as wet and dry, cold and warm, bitterness and sweetness, etc., which produces and preserves good health; it is, on the contrary, the predominance of one of them which causes the disease, and when two of these powers predominate, death follows. Aetius B4, ibid. , p. 226.

“The elements – the sun and the earth and the sky and the sea – are closely linked. Simplifies B22. “First know the fourfold root of all things: Zeus with the luminous fires, her mother of life, and then Aidoneus, Nestis finally, to the tears of which the mortals drink. Aetius and Sextus Empiricus B6. “For all [the elements] are equal. Simplifies 28 B17, ibid. , p. 380

Aristotle (1966). Generation and corruption. Text prepared and translated by Charles Mugler. The Beautiful Letters, Guillaume Bude Association, Paris, II 2, 329b, l. 18-19.

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