cover of book

New Philosophy of Human Nature: Neither Known to Nor Attained by the Great Ancient Philosophers, Which Will Improve Human Life and Helath
by Oliva Sabuco
translated by Mary Ellen Waithe, Maria Colomer Vintro and C. Angel Zorita
University of Illinois Press, 2006
Cloth: 978-0-252-03111-3 | eISBN: 978-0-252-09231-2
Library of Congress Classification B785.S133N8313 2007
Dewey Decimal Classification 196.1

This volume is a critical edition of the 1587 treatise by Oliva Sabuco, New Philosophy of Human Nature, written during the Spanish Inquisition. Puzzled by medicine’s abject failure to find a cure for the plague, Sabuco developed a new theory of human nature as the foundation for her remarkably modern holistic philosophy of medicine.
Fifty years before Descartes, Sabuco posited a dualism that accounted for mind/body interaction. She was first among the moderns to argue that the brain--not the heart--controls the body. Her account also anticipates the role of cerebrospinal fluid, the relationship between mental and physical health, and the absorption of nutrients through digestion. This extensively annotated translation features an ample introduction demonstrating the work’s importance to the history of science, philosophy of medicine, and women’s studies.

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