In this book, I investigate an evolution of Pre-Platonic knowledge of human nervous system: its anatomy and physiology. My another aim is to find out biographical connections between selected philosophers – to prove reciprocal flow of their ideas. That flow I named the „Big Transfer of Ideas”.
My searching starts from Alcmaeon, who was the first in the history of European science which claimed that the brain controls the human body. Subsequently, there were examined fragments of the writings of Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and Democritus, in order to look for parallels between them. The last of the investigated scholars was Hippocrates. The crucial aim of my study was to prove that Hippocratic medical theories used the conceptions of Alcmaeon, Empedocles, Anaxagoras and Democritus. Furthermore, they were biographical connected to each other, usually as a teacher and student or competitors.
In this book there were described Pre-Platonic medical theories in the widespread context of early Greek physical concepts of selected scientists. The study reconstructed their views on the human senses and the origin and location awareness. What is more, the views of ancient philosophers were compared with contemporary knowledge of the human nervous system.
The Hippocratic concept of the brain became the basis of modern neurology. Indeed he found that the brain, not the gods, is responsible for the formation of epilepsy called in antiquity “the sacred disease”. In addition, he developed a theory of the four organic liquids, which in subsequent centuries, was developed as the humoral theory.
This book is a confirmation that neurosciences (so popular nowadays) have their real source in Ancient Greece.
„How the Ancient Greeks Discovered the Brain” (in Polish version) was published in August 2016 by Napoleon V Publisher (Oswiecim City, Poland). Through this project, I would like to share the main views of my book with all interested in neuroscience, medical history or ancient philosophy.