Matthew Klemm, Assistant Professor of History, has published an article entitled "Les complexions vertueuses: la physiologie des vertus dans l'anthropologie medicale de Pietro d'Abano" (Virtuous Complexions: The Physiology of Virtues in Pietro d'Abano's Medical Anthropology), in the journal Medievales, 63, automne 2012.
This paper examines the physiological theory of the influential Paduan physician Pietro d'Abano. It argues that Pietro's physiological interests were driven by concerns that were as much moral as medical. In particular, Pietro was optimistic that the body's physiology -- namely the combination of the qualities known as "complexion" -- could help cause moral and intellectual virtue. He hoped that if human physiology and all the environmental factors affecting it could be properly understood, complexion theory could provide a new, medical, approach to virtue and to our overall conception of human nature.
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