Skeptical and Natural Philosophy

Medicine and Philosophy

Who was Paracelsus?

“Paracelsus” was the pseudonym of Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombast (a.k.a. Baumastus) von Hohenheim (1493–1541). His father was a medical doctor in Switzerland. Paracelsus traveled continuously after age 15 and studied medicine in Germany and Austria. He then traveled in Europe, combining surgery with his medical practice. Surgery was then considered a craft lower in status than medicine, so this was a significant risk for any physician.

In 1516 Paracelsus became a medical lecturer at the University of Basel, after he cured the famous printer Frobinius. His teachings against Avicenna (980–1037) and Galen (c. 129–c. 216 C.E.) were controversial, and he was forced to resume his life of travel in 1528.


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