Preventative medicine and the dietetics of the soul in Galen’s moral treatises on the passions and errors of the soul

  • Liliana Cecilia Molina González Universidad de Antioquia
Keywords: Galen, Soul, Passions, Error of the Soul, excess, false opinion.

Abstract

The vast work of Galen of Pergamus -who was the physician to the Stoic Marcus Aurelius- includes various Treatises of a philosophical nature (especially those in which he analyses the causes of the passions and of the errors of the soul), whose main purpose is to understand human nature at large, and to put forward proper guides for its moral improvement. Galen split his exposition of the questions pertaining to the diagnosis and treatment of the passions and the errors of each one's souls, since his main thesis - that the soul has a threefold structure (reason, intense emotions or passions, and desires)- requires this division. According to Galen, the treatment of the passions diverges from the treatment of cognitive disorders to which the errors of soul refer; which may be caused by immoderate passions or desires, and false opinions on goods and evils; which in the end mediate in the choice of a measured or, otherwise, immoderate life. The thread linking the Treatise on Passions and the Treatise on the Errors of the Soul is precisely that false opinions, which increase the violence exerted by our own passions whenever we have neither considered the causes (our beliefs and desires) of our excessive behavior, nor the value judgments with which we are used to judge daily circumstances of our daily life. The power of opinions lies precisely in increasing emotions' quantum of force, making them immoderate and indomitable, or moderable.

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Author Biography

Liliana Cecilia Molina González, Universidad de Antioquia
Instituto de FilosofíaUniversidad de AntioquiaMedellín, ColombiaE-mail: limoln@yahoo.com

References

GALEN. (2005) On the doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato. Third edition. Argumented and revised. Akademie Verlag (3 Vol.). Edition, translation and commentary by Phillip de Lacy. (PHP)

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Ediciones consultadas de Aff. Dig. y Pecc. Dig.:

GALEN. (1963) On the passions and errors of the soul. Translated by P. W. Harkins. With an Introduction and Interpretation by Walther Riese. Ohio State University Press. 1963.

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GALIEN. (1995) L ́ âme et ses passions. Les passions et les erreurs de l' âme. Les facultés de l'âme suivent les tempéraments du corps. Preface de Jean Starobinski. Introduction, traduction et notes par Barras, Birchler, Morand. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

DONINI, P. L. (1992) “Galeno e la filosofía”, en: Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt. Teil II: Principat. Band 36.5. Berlin

HANKINSON (2008) The Cambridge Companion to Galen. Cambridge Companions to Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.

MANULI, P. E y VEGETTI, M. (eds.) (1988) Le opere psichologiche di Galeno. Atti del terzo colloquio galenico internazionale, Pavia, 10-12 Settembre, 1986. Napoli. Bibliopolis.

SÉNECA, L. A. (2006) Cartas a Lucilio. Barcelona: Editorial Juventud, 2006. Prólogo, traducción directa del latín y notas por Vicente López Soto.

MARCOS, A. y PÉREZ RANSANZ, A. R. (eds.) (2011) número monográ co sobre Producción del conocimiento, en Estudios Filosóficos, vol. LX, no 173.

Published
2012-11-08
How to Cite
Molina González, L. C. (2012). Preventative medicine and the dietetics of the soul in Galen’s moral treatises on the passions and errors of the soul. Estudios De Filosofía, (45), 33-57. Retrieved from https://revistas.udea.edu.co/index.php/estudios_de_filosofia/article/view/13476
Section
Original or Research articles