Last updated: 2006-06-01
From ‘Gnoseology’ in the Development of Genetics to Philosophy of Global Problems
(Gnozeologie ve vývoji genetiky a globální problémy v působnosti I. T. Frolova [1929–1999])
The review of the four Russian volumes, published in 2001–2003 by the publishing House Nauka in Moscow, dedicated to I. T. Frolov (1929–1999), one of the most important Russian philosopher and scientific organizer in the 20th century, who greatly contributed to the rehabilitation of genetics in the context of the subordinate political ideology in the former USSR in the second half of the 20th century. The works is taken from his some 400 papers and 40 books published outside of Russian language also in English, German, Spanish, Chinese and some other languages, inclusive Czech and Slovak. The content is arranged in parts: methodological problems in the development of genetics; genetics, sociology, ecology, anthropology and ethics; global problems and perestroika and prospects of the future. Attention is also paid to Frolov´s cooperation with M. S. Gorbachev after 1986 in the period of political perestroika and glasnost, appreciated by Frolov in the last year of his life as the ‘spiritual revival after many years of totality and suppression of Man and Humanism’.
Medicine and the Liberal Arts in the Middle Ages
(Medicína a svobodná umění ve středověku)
Medicine had never been a part of the seven liberal arts in the Middle Ages. It is evident that its position in the classification of sciences at that time was specific and changeable. According to Isidore of Sevilla, medicine was „a second philosophy“, comparable to the whole system of liberal arts. On the other side, Hugh of St. Victor defined medicine as a mechanical art, comparable to the crafts only. Medieval medicine as a science acquired its new character on the basis of the translations of Arabic scientific texts. It was just the affinity between a newly translated Aristotle and a new Galen that created academic medicine of medieval universities in the course of 13th century. That medicine was a theoretical discipline before all, with the mutual relations to natural philosophy. This is strongly manifested in the environment of Italian universities, where one faculty was usually open for both philosophical and medical studies.
On some Information on Alchemistic Coins and Medals
(K některým údajům o alchymických mincích a medailích)
Unique among the alleged products of alchemists are coins and occasional medals struck from noble metals claimed to have been prepared artificially by transmutation of base metals. These objects increasingly appeared in the 16th century, and their production peaked in the subsequent century. Previous attempts to systemize alchemical coins and medals have focused on listing them chronologically. The first such list appeared in 1692. The present author used another approach in a recent work in which several groups of coins and medals were classified according to their origins. This approach divided “true” alchemical products from those that had been classified as alchemical on the basis of legends fabricated later. Most of these coins and medals have not been analyzed, while descriptions of the allegedly successful processes of transmutation are scarce and incomplete. Some of the medals are lost. The present paper is an attempt to fill this gap in information, because some additional data can be derived from the facts mentioned in old sources. In some cases we can even explain how the alleged transmutation could have been performed.
© M. Barvík 2006