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On the Natural Faculties

2.94  ·  Rating Details ·  48 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
...everything is in sympathy. According to Asclepiades, however, nothing is naturally in sympathy with anything else, all substance being divided and broken up into inharmonious elements and absurd "molecules." Necessarily, then, besides making countless other statements in opposition to plain fact, he was ignorant of Nature's faculties, both that attracting what is approp ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published January 1st 1916)
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The fact is that those who are enslaved to their sects are not merely devoid of all sound knowledge, but they will not even stop to learn!

This little book was appended to my Great Books of the Western World copy of the Hippocratic writings, so I decided to go ahead and read it. I’m not sure I’m happy with that decision. Having, by now, read my fair share of ancient science, I must confess that the experience is often stultifyingly dull; and this little treatise was one of the worst I’ve so far
Jan 16, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
Galen's (200 A.D.) view of medicine was based on that of his hero Hippocrates, and was the standard view of medicine until the 1530s, when Vesalius conducted his researches. Galen's emphasis on the importance of blood-letting in certain circumstances influenced medicine as late as the 1800s.

Much of this book is an animated (and by today's standards fairly vicious) attack on the alleged idiocy of those who held views different from his own; its value lies in the arguments Galen puts forward to co
Jul 31, 2010 Matt rated it it was ok
As I proceeded through the pages about urine, bile and digestion, I had difficulty understanding why Galen was included in Britannica’s Great Books list. Then I came to this passage near the end:
While, however, the statements which the Ancients made on these points were correct, they yet omitted to defend their arguments with logical proofs; of course they never suspected that there could be sophists so shameless as to try to contradict obvious facts. More recent physicians, again, have been pa
Moses Operandi
Oct 25, 2011 Moses Operandi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Apart from whatever merit Galen's work has, this is a terrible edition. Amateurish, cheap, antiquated, and typo-ridden. I've heard this comes in the superb Loeb edition, and if you're really interested in Galen, no doubt that's the one to get.

Back to Galen himself. The man made some progress, but was still incredibly ignorant about the way the body worked. And to jump from him to Harvey is to instantly realize how startlingly little medicine progressed between Galen's time and the 1600s A.D. Sa
Feb 21, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it
Help me out MDs! Am I right in seeing Galen as a progression and perhaps even a corrective to Hippocrates, Eristitatus, and others? Since my background in life science is very limited, I hesitate to be either critical or precise. I know more about physiology now than before I read this, so you can't really lose by reading this, can you? I might suggest reading a little Hippocrates first, as I did, to provide a little context.
Moses Operandi
Sep 05, 2011 Moses Operandi rated it it was ok
Galen is debatably less wrong than the earlier Greek physicians whom he so viciously decries, but his crude anatomical theories have little bearing on modern medicine. This edition is poorly edited and poorly laid out. The Loeb Classics edition is much better, but really, why bother?
John Cairns
Mar 22, 2014 John Cairns rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
It's a most systematic and authoritative argument for his own take on scientific medicine in his day and make no wonder Marcus Aurelius wanted him as his personal doctor when off to fight the Germans and not much at Galen's stubbornly staying in Pergamum in preference.
Sep 03, 2011 Brian rated it liked it
Like with Harvey, I wish my copy had been illustrated so I could follow. However, his 'thing or two to say about other physicians' gave me enough material to commonplace.
Sep 04, 2010 Christopher rated it liked it
Watching an ancient mind think, especially on a topic like science, helps clear away modern snobbishness.
Robert Kaufman
Dec 17, 2012 Robert Kaufman rated it it was amazing
It is amazing to read the foundations of Medicine. Something of such complexity once was such simplicity.
Rivka D.
Aug 25, 2012 Rivka D. rated it liked it
This was a very entertaining book. Makes one thankful for the progression of technology and medicine....
Bobbi Martens
Aug 27, 2012 Bobbi Martens rated it really liked it
Crazy, hilarious, and gross at times to see what medicine was like back in the day.
Robert Kaufman
Oct 24, 2012 Robert Kaufman rated it really liked it
Early medicine and explorations of the body today are just considered gross.
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Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus (AD 129–c.200/c.216), better known as Galen of Pergamon (modern-day Bergama, Turkey), was a prominent Roman (of Greek ethnicity) physician, surgeon and philosopher. Arguably the most accomplished of all medical researchers of antiquity, Galen contributed greatly to the understanding of numerous scientific disciplines, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, pha ...more
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