The Human Embryo
Aristotle and the Arabic and European Traditions
Edited by G.R. Dunstan
Subjects: Philosophy and Religion
Questions asked by Greek philosophy and science - how do we come to be? How do we grow? When are we recognizably human? - are addressed with new intensity today. Modern embryology has changed the methods of enquiry and given new knowledge. Public interest and concern are high because medical applications of new knowledge offer benefits and yet awaken ancestral fears. The law and politics are called upon to secure the benefits without realizing the fears. Philosophers and theologians are involved once again.
In this volume some of the world's authorities on the subject trace the tradition of enquiry over two and a half thousand years. The answers given in related cultures - Greek, Latin, Jewish, Arabian, Islamic, Christian - reflected the purposes to be served at different times, in medical practice, penitential discipline, canon law, common law, human feeling. But the terms in which the questions were discussed were those set down by the Greeks and transmitted through the Arabic authors to medieval Europe.
D. M. Balme, Stephen Bemrose, P. R. Braude, L. W. B. Brockliss, C. S. F. Burnett, G.R. Dunstan, L. E. Goodman, Monica H. Green, Richard Hitchcock, Pamela M. Huby, Martin H. Johnson, Helen King, A. G. McLaren, B. F. Musallam, Vivian Nutton and Mary J. Seller
Note on the Frontispiece, vii; Contributors, viii; Foreword RICHARD SORABJI, ix; Preface, xi; Introduction: text and context G. R. DUNSTAN, 1; Making a man: becoming human in early Greek medicine HELEN KING, 10; Human is generated by human D. M. BALME, 20; The human embryo in Arabic scientific and religious thought BASIM MUSALLAM, 32; Constantinus Africanus and the conflict between religion and science MONICA H. GREEN, 47; Arabic medicine: the Andalusi context RICHARD HITCHCOCK, 70; The fetus as a natural miracle: the Maimonidean view L. E. GOODMAN, 79; The planets and the development of the embryo C. S. F. BURNETT, 95; Soul, life, sense, intellect: some thirteenth-century problems PAMELA M. HUBY, 113; 'Come d'animal divegna fante': the animation of the human embryo in Dante STEPHEN BEMROSE, 123; The anatomy of the soul in early Renaissance medicine VIVIAN NUTTON, 136. The embryological revolution in the France of Louis XIV: the dominance of ideology L. W. B. BROCKLISS, 158; Policing pregnancies: changes in nineteenth-century criminal and canon law ANGUS McLAREN, 187; The embryo in contemporary medical science PETER R. BRAUDE AND MARTIN H. JOHNSON, 208; Short communication: some fallacies in embryology through the ages MARY J. SELLER, 222; Index, 228.
"This book helps us with the history of the ethics that we must know if we are to deal with the technology of the future." (Independent) "The book is thoroughly documented, carefully edited and beautifully produced … care has also been taken to make the work readable and accessible to a non-specialist who wants to find out more about the thought of bygone ages concerning matters of 'contemporary concern'." (Bioethics) "All the chapters are well researched and annotated . . . The text becomes much more gripping as the relationship of contemporary opinion to the views of preceding generations becomes apparent." (British Medical Journal)