Spirit in Renaissance Medicine
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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