This book examines the origins of ancient Greek science using the vehicles of blood, blood vessels, and the heart. Careful attention to biomedical writers in the ancient world, as well as to the philosophical and literary work of writers prior to the Hippocratic authors, produce an interesting story of how science progressed and the critical context in which important methodological questions were addressed. The end result is an account that arises from debates that are engaged in and "solved" by different writers. These stopping points form the foundation for Harvey and for modern philosophy of biology. Author Michael Boylan sets out the history of science as well as a critical evaluation based upon principles in the contemporary canon of the philosophy of science—particularly those dealing with the philosophy of biology.
Table of Contents
Preface Introduction 1. Pre-Hippocratic Writers 2. The Hippocratic Writers: The Empiric and Dogmatic Strains of the Hippocratic Writings 3. Plato: The Epistemology and Metaphysics of Natural Science. 4. Aristotle and His Theory of Nourishment 5. Galen Postscript: The Road to Harvey
Michael Boylan (Ph.D. University of Chicago) is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Marymount University. He has delivered invited lectures in 15 countries on five continents. Most recently, he has spoken on Greek science at the American Philological Association; an international United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) conference in Pergamum, Turkey; and at the Sorbonne (Paris IV).
"In sum, if the book has limitations, it tends to transcend them. Boylan does not give us an entirely new history of Greek science, but rather one expressed in a new language, reliant on strong tripartite divisions. The book is intended to be accessible to historians of medicine and philosophers of science, and a glossary of philosophical terms provides a handy reference for terms and symbols. Most readers will find something worthwhile—be it technical analyses of scientific viewpoints or detailed philosophical frameworks—in its pages" - Daniel Bertoni, University of Miami, BMCR