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Medicine & Magic

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Chapter Summary

Like Ibn Sīnā's Book of Curing (Kitab al-Shifa), al-Rāzī's Spiritual Medicine is a philosophical work, even if the title has medical overtones. Most of this chapter consists of quotations, namely from Galen's On the Affected Parts, the Small Art, and his commentary on Hippocrates' Epidemics. Although author mentions Hippocrates at the beginning of the chapter as someone thinking that sex can have its benefits, he only cites the 'Father of Medicine' indirectly here. When al-Razi adopts different positions in his medical works and his Spiritual Medicine, he adjusts what he says to the expectations of his audience. It is hard to guess where his own personal preferences in this matter lie. In the conclusion to his chapter on the benefits of sex cited, he remarks that it is 'gratifying (mumti)' that some people should have sex.

Keywords: Epidemics; Hippocrates; Kitab al-Shifa; Spiritual Medicine



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