Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Spirit in Renaissance Medicine

  • Hiro HiraiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_1107-1


The “spirit” (pneuma in Greek and spiritus in Latin) was often defined as the corporeal instrument of the “soul” (psychê in Greek and anima in Latin) for physiological functions in living beings. Since the soul was difficult to grasp in a material dimension, the role of the spirit as a key to understanding the secret of life gradually increased in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. A long quest for a material spirit of life was launched.

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Primary Literature

  1. Fernel, J. 1548. De abditis rerum causis. Paris: C. Wechel.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for the History of Philosophy and ScienceRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marco Sgarbi
    • 1
  1. 1.University Ca' Foscari VeniceVeniceItaly