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Day: August 23, 2010

Black Bile and the Soul

Black Bile and the Soul

In his De Vita, Marsilio Ficino writes, “Of all scholars, those devoted to the study of philosophy are most bothered by black bile, because their minds get separated from their bodies and from bodily things.” (Ficino 7). Ficino, of course, is using the framework of Hippocrates’ theory of the four humors to explain the melancholic temperament in scholars. Aristotle also dealt with this problem, as did Plato. According to Ficino, philosophers have a preponderance of black bile. My approach to…

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