I am researching the history of medical philosophy (nursing in particular). A professor recommended the writings of Epicurus. I cannot find any sources directly related to this relationship. The closest I've come is a brief mention in the answers to this question. (what are the differences of existentialism to epicurianism?) . I would appreciate any recommendations.

  • This is probably obvious, but regarding the history of medical philosophy, the Hippocratic Corpus is probably a good place to start from. Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


I think that your Professor is referring to "Principal Doctrines" where he deals with issues about the body.

  1. Continuous pain does not last long in the body; on the contrary, pain, if extreme, is present a short time, and even that degree of pain which barely outweighs pleasure in the body does not last for many days together. Illnesses of long duration even permit of an excess of pleasure over pain in the body.

You can read that as a proto-medical assertion..for example.

Then you can read the "Letter to Menoeceus" where he speaks about "being healthy of the soul" (ψυχὴν ὑγιαῖνον).

Maybe you can start searching there.

Hope to be useful.

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