Making Sense of Health, Disease, and the Environment in Cross-Cultural History: The Arabic-Islamic World, China, Europe, and North America

  • Florence Bretelle-Establet
  • Marie Gaille
  • Mehrnaz Katouzian-Safadi

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 333)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Florence Bretelle-Establet, Marie Gaille, Mehrnaz Katouzian-Safadi
    Pages 1-23
  3. Observations, Definitions, and Theories About Environment, Disease, and the Body: How to Embrace the Whole World

  4. Observations, Definitions, and Theories About Environment, Disease, and the Body: Questioning the Meaning of the Environment

  5. Healthy or Unhealthy Environments: Sensorial Experiences of Lands, Spaces, and Milieus

  6. Healthy or Unhealthy Environments: Techniques, Tools, and Concepts to Reconsider the Relationship Between the Environment, Disease and Health

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 367-378

About this book


This book has been defined around three important issues: the first sheds light on how people, in various philosophical, religious, and political contexts, understand the natural environment, and how the relationship between the environment and the body is perceived; the second focuses on the perceptions that a particular natural environment is good or bad for human health and examines the reasons behind such characterizations ; the third examines the promotion, in history, of specific practices to take advantage of the health benefits, or avoid the harm, caused by certain environments and also efforts made to change environments supposed to be harmful to human health. The feeling and/or the observation that the natural environment can have effects on human health have been, and are still commonly shared throughout the world. This led us to raise the issue of the links observed and believed to exist between human beings and the natural environment in a broad chronological and geographical framework. In this investigation, we bring the reader from ancient and late imperial China to the medieval Arab world up to medieval, modern, and contemporary Europe. This book does not examine these relationships through the prism of the knowledge of our modern contemporary European experience, which, still too often, leads to the feeling of totally different worlds. Rather, it questions protagonists who, in different times and in different places, have reflected, on their own terms, on the links between environment and health and tries to obtain a better understanding of why these links took the form they did in these precise contexts. This book targets an academic readership as well as an “informed audience”, for whom present issues of environment and health can be nourished by the reflections of the past.


A Global Approach of Environment, Disease and Health Care for nature and for oneself Deficiency and living space Emplaced body Environment, health, and disease Environmental psychology Epidemiology Multi-spatial approach of Environment, disease, and health Nature in Urban Space:

Editors and affiliations

  • Florence Bretelle-Establet
    • 1
  • Marie Gaille
    • 2
  • Mehrnaz Katouzian-Safadi
    • 3
  1. 1.Université de ParisSPHERE, UMR 7219, CNRS-Université de ParisParisFrance
  2. 2.Université de ParisSPHERE, UMR 7219, CNRS-Université de ParisParisFrance
  3. 3.Université de ParisSPHERE, UMR 7219, CNRS-Université de ParisParisFrance

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages History
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-19081-1
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-19082-8
  • Series Print ISSN 0068-0346
  • Series Online ISSN 2214-7942
  • Buy this book on publisher's site