HPS Colloquium - Nahyan Fancy. "Challenging the Galenic Theory of Pulse: Ibn al-Nafis (d. 1288) and His Successors"
Challenging the Galenic Theory of Pulse: Ibn al-Nafis (d. 1288) and His Successors.
It is traditional to assume that medicine in the Islamicate world never moved beyond Galen in the pre-modern world. Scholars have even claimed that challenges to Galenic anatomy, such as Ibn al-Nafis's proposal of the pulmonary transit of blood, were undertaken by Islamicate physicians while adhering firmly to Galenic physiology. Building upon my earlier work, I shall show that key elements of Galenic physiology, such as his understanding of vital faculty and the pulse, were rejected by both Ibn al-Nafis and his successors--the latter were not only very interested in Ibn al-Nafis's anti-Galenic understanding of pulse, but also engaged with it critically.
Reception to Follow