A Philosophical Commentary on Aristotle's De Spiritu
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
ancient medicine, ancient philosophy, animal generation, animal motion, bones, perception, pneuma, vessels
The dissertation argues for the authenticity of the De spiritu and for its acceptance as a genuine treatise in the Aristotelian corpus by elaborating its philosophical significance and connecting it to genuine treatises by Aristotle, particularly the Parva Naturalia, Motion of Animals, Parts of Animals, Generation of Animals, History of Animals, Meteorology, Generation and Corruption, and the De anima. The De spiritu concerns the centrality of the connate pneuma in Aristotle's philosophy of nature, particularly its involvement in vital animal activities such as sense perception, animal motion, and animal generation. Consideration is also given to the medical background of pneuma as it appears in treatises from the Hippocratic corpus and in the fragments of non-Hippocratic medical writers contemporary with Aristotle such as Diocles of Carystus and Praxagoras of Cos. Because connate pneuma is a bodily factor involved in the vital activities of animals, particular attention is given to the structures of the body that support the function of connate pneuma, particularly to the vascular system, the bones, and the sinews.
Macfarlane, P. (2007). A Philosophical Commentary on Aristotle's De Spiritu (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1687