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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities - Alexander von Humboldt Professorship

Project description

Medicine and philosophy are sharply distinct disciplines nowadays, both in methodology and scope. It was not so in antiquity. Learned medicine was very theoretical and hence ‘philosophical’, and philosophers, for their part, claimed for themselves all-embracing knowledge of things, including the human body. Thus it is natural that philosophy and medicine should interact with each other. This interaction can be tracked, to some extent, as far as the classical age is concerned, but the picture becomes much less clear in the Hellenistic age, on account of the loss of both medical and philosophical literature.

It is my proposal to investigate different case studies of interaction between medicine and philosophy in the Hellenistic age, with the goal of assessing whether these two disciplines complemented each other, or competed with each other, or ignored each other.