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Vision and Vision Disorders. Galen’s Physiology of Sight

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Chapter Summary

The aim of this chapter is to present the Galenic theory of vision to provide a better understanding of the models according to which Galen represented the phenomenon of vision. Without neglecting the difficulties associated with the coexistence of both the geometric and pneumatic theories of vision, this chapter focuses on the study of physiology and the predominant role of pneuma. First, the author briefly outlines the explanations of the phenomenon of vision given by both predecessors and contemporaries of Galen. He then explores Galen's attachment to visual pneuma and investigates to what extent this can be explained by his debt to Stoic theories. Aristotle is notably absent from the doxography of Pseudo-Plutarch's Placita philosophorum, whose theories, especially those discussed in his On the Soul, remain curiously ignored.

Keywords:Aristotle; doxography; Galenic theory of vision; physiology of sight; pneuma; vision disorders



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