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Chapter Summary

This introductory talks about this book, and in his subsequent monograph Life's Form. Late Aristotelian Conceptions of the Soul (2000), Des Chene locates Descartes within his Aristotelian background, exploring the emergence of modern ideas of 'science' from medieval philosophy. We would like to see this book as the start of a process of greater dialogue not only between those working in different periods, but also different academic disciplines. The relative ranking of physiology and anatomy has shifted over time, with physiology being seen as the prior field of knowledge; as the speculative side of anatomy; and as a sub-discipline of anatomy. A major theme of this collection is that what appears to be 'new' in early modern writing may not in fact be new at all, but may derive from the ancient texts with which writers in early modern Europe were often very familiar.

Keywords:Aristotelian Conceptions; Des Chene; early modern Europe; medieval philosophy



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