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October 1970

Galen on Sense Perception

Arch Ophthalmol. 1970;84(4):552-553. doi:10.1001/archopht.1970.00990040554037

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This fine little book is about the premedieval scientific thought of Galen, one of the greatest of Greek physicians and writers. But do not let that discourage you; even though it is not of primary clinical interest, it is well done and should elicit admiration for both Galen and the author.

Dr. Siegel, a physician and obviously an historical scholar, writes this, the second of two volumes. In each he systematically explains the scientist Galen's (129 to 200 ad) views of medical and physiological doctrines, observations, and experiments. Siegel's first book presented a survey of Galen's life and works and studiously delved into Galen's approach to blood flow, respiration, and internal diseases. This present monograph analyzes Galen's concepts of sense perception; over half is devoted to problems concerning vision.

Most of the background for this material is based on the author's direct translation of Galen's treatises, from a Greek text

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