Ancient Views on the Quality of Life (SpringerBriefs in by Alex C. Michalos

By Alex C. Michalos

This monograph describes the contributions to our present realizing of caliber of existence made by way of crucial historic philosophers within the Western culture. It does so from the viewpoint of a latest researcher in caliber of lifestyles or human health and wellbeing. Revisiting historic texts from approximately six hundred BCE to three hundred BCE, the ebook explores the earliest principles in recorded western philosophical and medical historical past that have been considerably regarding present study and realizing of the standard of lifestyles or wellbeing and fitness for people and groups. It examines the issues and recommendations present in those texts and their connection to nonetheless present primary matters and questions resembling: ‘What is an effective life?’, ‘What is the easiest type of individual to be?’ ‘How can one inform if one’s society is making growth to a few kind of fascinating kingdom or falling backwards?’ The booklet exhibits that throughout time and throughout many cultures, the human species bears a few impressive similarities.

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Sample text

For examples, To see the sun, moon, heavens and stars clear and bright, each in the proper order, is good, as it indicates physical health…But if there be contrast between the dream and reality, it indicates a physical illness, a violent contrast a violent illness, a slighter contrast a lighter illness…To see and hear clearly the things on the earth…to see…trees that are luxuriant, covered with fruit and cultivated, rivers flowing naturally…All these indicate health for the dreamer, and that the body with all its circuits, diet and secretions are proper and normal.

Apparently, then, there is no doubt about the existence of the man Jones regarded as “an outstanding genius” (Hippocrates 1923, p. xxx). According to Nutton (2013, pp. 145–146), in the Hellenic period from roughly 330 to 30 BCE, “The idealization of Hippocrates as a medical authority…gave rise to, and was in turn influenced by, biographical invention. The letters and speeches within our Hippocratic Corpus, all of them spurious, describing or purporting to derive from incidents in his life, date from this period.

Options ran from Thales’s single watery substance to Democritus’s infinite number of atoms and the void. Several authors of the Corpus drew on the work of Empedocles, especially his idea that the basic building blocks of the world were the four elements, earth, air, fire and water. These “cosmic elements” were supposed to be connected to the four “opposites” of Anaximander, fire to hot, air to cold, water to moist and earth to dry. The “opposites” are not elemental substances, but only revealed “powers” or “properties” of substances (Hippocrates 1923, p.

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