Skip to main content

Reading Books in Natural Philosophy: How Conrad Gessner's Commentary on 'De Anima' (1563) was Annotated and Interpreted

Buy Article:

$31.55 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Conrad Gessner (1516–65) was town physician and lecturer at the Zwinglian reformed lectorium in Zurich. His approach towards the world and mankind was centred on his preoccupation with the human soul, an object of study that had challenged classical writers such as Aristotle and Galen, and which remained as important in post-Reformation debate. Writing commentaries on Aristotle's De Anima (On the Soul) was part of early-modern natural philosophy education at university and formed the preparatory step for studying medicine. This article uses the case study of Gessner's commentary on De Anima (1563) to explore how Gessner's readers prioritised De Anima's information. Gessner's intention was to provide the students of philosophy and medicine with the most current and comprehensive thinking. His readers' responses raise questions about evolving discussions in natural philosophy and medicine that concerned the foundations of preventive healthcare on the one hand, and of anatomically specified patho- logical medicine on the other, and Gessner's part in helping these develop.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Aristotelian psychology; Conrad Gessner; De Anima; Philip Melanchthon; book annotations; history of natural philosophy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Harvard University and University of Zurich

Publication date: 01 September 2017

More about this publication?
  • The John Rylands Library houses one of the finest collections of rare books, manuscripts and archives in the world. The collections span five millennia and cover a wide range of subjects, including art and archaeology; economic, social, political, religious and military history; literature, drama and music; science and medicine; theology and philosophy; travel and exploration. For over a century, the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library has published research that complements the Library's special collections. The editors invite the submission of articles in these fields and welcome discussion of in-progress projects.

    Areas of particular interest include, but are not limited to:

    • Manuscript and archive studies
    • Textual transmission and bibliographical studies
    • The histories of printing and publishing
    • The transmission and reception of the Bible
    • The history of religion, with particular regard to evangelical Christianity and the Dissenting and Nonconformist traditions
    • Visual culture, including manuscript illumination and the printed image
    • Social and cultural history, and the history of medicine

    The editors also invite the submission of descriptive articles or shorter notices pertinent to items in the Library collections and those held in other institutions of the University of Manchester. Further information can be found in the Library's Guide to Special Collections.

    The complete archive of the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, from its first issue in 1903 to Volume 80 (1998) is now available to purchase from Manchester University Press. The integration of the archive brings all of the journal's content together online for the first time, offering the opportunity for the journal's influential research to be easily discovered and browsed.

    The archive complements the current subscription product (1999 to date), and can be purchased on a one-time basis or as an annual subscription. By purchasing or licensing the archive, subscribers to the Bulletin will benefit from access to the complete collection of content back to issue 1.

    To obtain pricing information, please contact Shelly Turner at [email protected].

    Selected articles from the Bulletin are also available via the University of Manchester Library.

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more