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CLA232 - Aristotle Galen Hippocrates.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Victoria Wohl

Hippocrates/Galen/Aristotle Hippocrates: scientific explanation for differences between Greeks and foreigners  nature vs. nurture (always a Greek cultural bias)  gynocologcal texts focus on biology – anatomical differences between sexes – gender always creeps in: ideas of gender roles always effect  trying to find phusis underlying gender nomos (always nomos at base)  anatomical is fixed, but sex may always be gender  all writers always seeing from nomos (gender) *sex the bedrock where gender is built or vice versa?  men hotter than women (Hippocrates: hot/cold, wet/dry)  right side hotter than left side (men’s sperm vs. women’s sperm)  authors  similarities: understanding of sex/gender very unchanged  wondering womb causes female hysteria  women’s medicine focused on reproductive material  doctor = man (norm) sense this in the texts  women as scientific points – not really caring about doctor Aristote  men’s semen active and creative, women’s semen needs a man’s  339: ability and inability, female made to receive semen from man and women’s semen can’t do anything by itself  women as passive raw material  female body as mysterious through men Hippocrates  343 – challenges in women  men treat women as if they are men – hard to know cures for women’s diseases  hint at traditional female medicines  341: anecdote about spontaneous abortion  falls out of prostitute (6 day old embryo)  dancing girl made to jump up and down until she miscarried  proves scientific theories  male scientist on one hand but also hint at female medical tradition of women passing on medical information to each other  he investigates woman’s body  talk about seeing women but never mentioned by name – unable to give birth to heir or death by child birth ailents  confidentiality – rational solution would have been female doctors female midwives Soranus; guidebook for female midwives – what makes good miwife and how to be one  intelligent, sober, literate, long fingers – good midwife qualities  how to deal with women’s diseases, pregnancy and abortion  taught by men still Differences Between Sexes  line between male and female biology  men outside, women inside, men hot, women cold Galen – 351  men/women the same except women’s parts are inside  women inside out, you get man’s
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