New PDF release: A History of Ideas About the Prolongation of Life

By Gerald Gruman MD PhD

Textual content examines attitudes towards durability and dying in Islamic and chinese language societies in addition to in Western civilizations. offers an figuring out of the origins of medication, own hygiene and public future health, and the underlying mental and social matters surrounding getting older. Softcover.

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33 18 History of Ideas About Life Prolongation The "fullness-of-pleasure" concept is a key to the understanding of Epicurean apologism. 34 Therefore, the possibility of prolonging life seldom was given serious consideration. At the same time, because the idea of progress had not yet made its appearance, philosophers viewed life as a rather dreary round of the same experiences and, therefore, called into question the desirability of prolonging life. Thus, the Epicureans asserted that there was no reason to live on to see what the future might bring.

To the extent that it derives from the River of Immortality, flowing out of Edén, the water of the fountain of youth may be classified in this category. One of the rnost interesting of these objects is the Celtic "magic cauldron" which conferred both abundance of food and bodily immortality. 69 Secondly, there are the prolongevity substances with empirical qualities. It is alleged that they simply have been found to work, and no further explanation is required. For example, by the "cut-and-try" method of ordinary human experience, a great many plant materials have been found to have beneficial medical properties.

The prototype of this theme is the legend of a fountain whose waters bring about rejuvenation, the restoration of youth. 38 The earliest account of Ponce de León's adventure was published in 1535 in the General History of the Indies by Oviedo, who had served as a Spanish official in the New World. He wrote that Ponce de León was . . 39 Gomara, whose History of the Indies was published in 1552-1553, depicted Ponce de León as . . 40 A somewhat different versión of the expedition was given in 1575 in the Memoir of Fontaneda, a Spaniard who was held captive for twentyseven years by Florida Indians.

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