Studied Abroad for 400 Years: Oliva Sabuco's New Philosophy of Human Nature


Oliva Sabuco's New Philosophy of Human nature (1587) is an early modern philosophy of medicine that challenged the views of the successors to Aristotle, especially Galen and Ibn Sina (Avicenna). It also challenged the paradigm of the male as the epitome of the human and instead offers a gender-neutral philosophy of human nature. Now largely forgotten, it was widely read and influential amongst philosophers of medicine including DeClave, LePois, Harvey,Southey and others, particularly for its account of the role of the nervous system and cerebrospinal fluid in mind-body interaction. In this article I trace its early influence by tracing provenance of the editions produced during the lifetime of its author.



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Mary Ellen Waithe
Cleveland State University

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