Empedocles (5th Century Bce-After 444 Bce) - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Natural Philosophy

Empedocles shows a keen interest in embryology and physiology, explaining the structure of the eye by analogy with that of a lantern (Fr. 84) and comparing the process of respiration (including the movement of the blood) with the siphon effect of the clepsydra or water pipe, which retains or releases fluid by means of air pressure (Fr. 100). The notion of elemental combination is specified in numerical terms for certain living tissues. Bones are formed by earth, water, and fire in the ratio 2:2:4. The blend of the elements is most equal in flesh, especially in blood (Fr. 98).

Physiology passes over into psychology without a break. (It is clear that as a doctor Empedocles would have practiced psychosomatic medicine.) Blood is the primary seat of thought and perception (Fr. 105) precisely because it is here that the elements are most equably blended...

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This section contains 2,728 words
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Buy the Empedocles (5th Century Bce-After 444 Bce) Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Empedocles (5th Century Bce-After 444 Bce) from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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