Forms, Souls, and Embryos: Neoplatonists on Human Reproduction

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Routledge, Jul 15, 2016 - History - 232 pages

Forms, Souls, and Embryos allows readers coming from different backgrounds to appreciate the depth and originality with which the Neoplatonists engaged with and responded to a number of philosophical questions central to human reproduction, including: What is the causal explanation of the embryo’s formation? How and to what extent are Platonic Forms involved? In what sense is a fetus ‘alive,’ and when does it become a human being? Where does the embryo’s soul come from, and how is it connected to its body? This is the first full-length study in English of this fascinating subject, and is a must-read for anyone interested in Neoplatonism or the history of medicine and embryology.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 The Embryological Background
13
2 The Metaphysical Background
33
The Core Theory
58
4 The Formation and Animation of the Embryo
129
5 The Problem of Teratogenesis
156
Epilogue
171
Bibliography
174
Index locorum
201
Subject index
228
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About the author (2016)

James Wilberding is Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at Ruhr University, Bochum (Germany). Previously he was a lecturer in Classics at Newcastle University (UK) and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Williams College (USA).

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