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The Animal Spirit Doctrine and the Origins of Neurophysiology$
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C.U.M. Smith, Eugenio Frixione, Stanley Finger, and William Clower

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199766499

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766499.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 October 2021

Alexandria and Hellenistic Psychophysiology

Alexandria and Hellenistic Psychophysiology

(p.28) (p.29) Chapter 2 Alexandria and Hellenistic Psychophysiology
The Animal Spirit Doctrine and the Origins of Neurophysiology

C. U. M. Smith

Eugenio Frixione

Stanley Finger

William Clower

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes a look at the evolution of the idea of internal pneumata, specifically the pneuma zootikon and the pneuma psychikon. It notes that there was a “silent period” during the history of animal spirit and discusses Claudius Galen, whose take on animal spirit persisted into the medieval period and beyond. This chapter shows that after the death of Aristotle until the death of Galenin, neuropsychological thought slowly evolved from a loose speculation to a more precise and anatomically grounded science. Furthermore, Galen's work was also revealed to be limited by the technical resources of his times, and the major outlines of his synthesis served as the background of biomedical understanding for the next millennium.

Keywords:   internal pneumata, pneuma zootikon, pneuma psychikon, animal spirit, Claudius Galen, Galenin, neuropsychological thought, biomedical understanding

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