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Forms, Souls, and Embryos

Neoplatonists on Human Reproduction

James Wilberding

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Routledge
12 December 2019
Classical history & classical civilisation; Western philosophy: Ancient, to c 500; History of medicine; Human reproduction, growth & development
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.
By:   James Wilberding
Imprint:   Routledge
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm, 
Weight:   1.080kg
ISBN:   9780367874742
ISBN 10:   0367874741
Series:   Issues in Ancient Philosophy
Pages:   232
Publication Date:   12 December 2019
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Further / Higher Education ,  A / AS level
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

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).

Reviews for Forms, Souls, and Embryos: Neoplatonists on Human Reproduction

Wilberding's Forms, Souls, and Embryos is a pioneering work. It explores the uncharted territory of late ancient philosophy's growing interest in medicine and biology. Its distinguished achievement lies in discovering a new world for future research - the metaphysical foundation of the key concepts of conception and the origin of life, as presented in Neoplatonism, the school which carried the vitality of ancient thought into the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Wilberding's conclusion that the Neoplatonic attribution of causal significance to both sexes in biological generation does not constitute as quiet a revolution as it seems originally, is equally valid for the achievement of his book itself. - Dr. Svetla Slaveva-Griffin, Florida State University, USA This is a fascinating book, well worth reading if you have any interest in Platonic philosophy or ancient philosophy more generally ... It is time that we took more notice of philosophical engagement with embryological theory from the earliest thinkers to the early modern period. Wilberding's book is a major advance in scholarship in this area and will surely open up substantial avenues for further research. The typescript is immaculate; there are comprehensive notes, an excellent bibliography and index locorum. In short, this book in outstanding in content, style and presentation. - Sophia M. Connell, University of Cambridge, UK, in the Bryn Mawr Classica Review


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