Body and Cosmos in Galen’s Account of the Soul

In: Phronesis
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  • 1 The Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Philosophy, Jilská 1, 110 00 Prague 1, Czech Republic
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Galen’s physiology—his theory of elements, mixtures and the emergence of natural capacities—compels him to conceive of each part of the soul as a peculiar mixture of elementary qualities in the material substance of the organ (the liver, the heart or the brain) in which it is located. The reason why Galen, nevertheless, refrains from making a dogmatic assertion about the substance of the soul, or of human nature in general, is the acknowledged failure to account for two goal-directed activities—the formation of bodily organs and human intelligence—in terms of elementary qualities and their mixtures.

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