281. Monica Green on Medieval Medicine

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An interview with Monica Green reveals parallels between medicine and philosophy in the middle ages.



Further Reading

Prof. Green's Academia.edu page, with numerous papers to download.


Laurence COPELAND on 2 July 2017


I've just listened to this eipisode, which I found very interesting. However, even allowing for the constraints, I was a little surprised there was no mention of the relationship of medicine to magic and witchcraft.



In reply to by Laurence COPELAND

Peter Adamson on 4 July 2017


Yes, that is a good point - I could have asked her about that. I did have the whole interview with Charles Burnett about medieval magic, though. And I would expect to cover this more when we get to the Renaissance and early modern: alchemy, magic, and perhaps a whole episode on witchcraft since that would be good fun.

Sati on 18 December 2017

Modern parallels

Thank you Peter for another great episode. I particularly found the parallels between phlilosphy and medicine interesting. I wonder what your thoughts are on the current state of interdisciplinary work and whether there are instances where modern medicine considers the use of existing philosophical ideas? For example, exploring Avicenna's Floating Man argument in the context of something like persistent vegetative state. Many thanks in advance.

In reply to by Sati

Peter Adamson on 19 December 2017

Modern medicine and philosophy

Well, the obvious point of intersection is medical ethics, but I get the impression (though I am certainly no expert on this) that the medical profession is apart from that not influenced by contemporary philosophy. As with the other sciences philosophers tend to be more interested in what the scientists are doing than the other way around, though there are no doubt exceptions where philosophers help design experiments for instance. Oh actually another big exception would be psychology, there is extensive collaborative work these days between philosophers of mind and experimental psychologists.

Glad you liked the episode by the way!

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