Hot heads and cold brains. Aristotle, Galen and the "radiator theory"

Physis Riv Int Stor Sci. 1996;33(1-3):259-66.


The Author examines two similar theories about the functioning of human brain as a refrigerator: Falk's and Fialkowski's (1990) and Aristotle's (IVth century b.C.). There are surprising, although fortuitous, convergences between the two, with the remarkable difference, however, that Artistotle's doctrine (later severely criticized by Galen) thinks of the brain merely as an organ for the cooling of the body's (the heart's) heat, while according to the modern radiator theory the human brain developed starting as a refrigerator of itself.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Brain*
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Greece
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, Ancient

Personal name as subject

  • None Aristotle
  • None Galen