Oliva Sabuco, Mary Ellen Waithe, Maria Colomer Vintro, and C. Angel Zorita
This volume is a critical edition of the 1587 treatise by Oliva Sabuco, "New Philosophy of Human Nature", written during the Spanish Inquisition. Puzzled by medicine's abject failure to find a cure for the plague, Sabuco developed a new theory of human nature as the foundation for her remarkably modern holistic philosophy of medicine. Fifty years before Descartes, Sabuco posited a dualism that accounted for mind/body interaction. She was first among the moderns to argue that the brain - not the heart - controls the body. Her account also anticipates the role of cerebrospinal fluid, the relationship between mental and physical health, and the absorption of nutrients through digestion. This extensively annotated translation features an ample introduction demonstrating the work's importance to the history of science, philosophy of medicine, and women's studies.