Galen: On the Nature of Science (On the Sects for Beginners, by Galen; R. Walzer, M. Frede (trans.)

By Galen; R. Walzer, M. Frede (trans.)

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Additional info for Galen: On the Nature of Science (On the Sects for Beginners, An Outline of Empiricism, On Medical Experience)

Sample text

But I do not understand how it can be reasonable to think that one kind of inflammation is a costive affection, whereas another kind is mixed. For, first of all, they do not mind their own accounts, according to which one should not judge the fluent by the evac­ uation or the costive by the interruption of flux, but should look at the dispositions of the bodies themselves. Where, then, the present inflamation happens to be similar in all respects to the previous one and where they appear to differ in no other way than that in one case something flows off, whereas in the other it does not, how is it not completely absurd to take the one to be mixed and the other to be costive?

In the account of Aristotle's philos­ ophy in Diogenes Laertius CV, 28-29) and in Alexander of Aphrodisias' commentary on Aristotle's Prior Analytics (p. 1, 7 ff). In the syncretistic logic of late antiquity, beginning with Middle Platonists such as Albinus (cf. Isagoge 5, p. 156 Hermann), such a method of invention or discovery occurs under the name of analysis or analytics. Thus Galen can rely on some tradition when he tries to work out in detail the method of synthe­ sis or composition and in particular the method of analysis or resolution.

How, then, can it be assumed that the communities are different, when the dis­ position in the bodies does not differ at all, except that it follows upon the nature of the fluids, because they are thin or thick, that in one case something flows off and in the other the fluid is contained. Thus the mixed state which you postulate is unintelligible, too. As to all the other points of detail, not only in matters of internal diseases, but also in mat­ ters of surgery and pharmacy, perhaps you will learn another time on 32 how many things you are in error, if you arenot already persuaded by these arguments.

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