The Galen Project

Robert Vinkesteijn PhD

Project: ‘Galen and the Aristotelians.’

This PhD project was designed to examine Galen’s position on the body-soul relationship with particular reference to the Aristotelian tradition. The results have been recorded in Robert’s doctoral dissertation Philosophical Perspectives on Galen of Pergamum: Four Case-Studies on Human Nature and the Relation between Body and Soul, which was publicly defended on 2 October 2021. The doctorate was conferred with highest distinction.

About Robert Vinkesteijn:

Research Interests

Aristotle, Plato and Neo-Platonism, Stoics, Hippocratic tradition, Galen, melancholy, daimones and the demonic, ancient psychology, metaphysics, ethics, theology and demonology, history of philosophy and religion.


BA in Philosophy (VU University Amsterdam)

BA in Classics (UvA, University of Amsterdam)

RMA in Classics with specialisation in ancient Greek philosophy (VU and UvA)

PhD, Utrecht University, 2 October 2021 (see above).


The vegetative soul in Galen,’ in ed. Baldassarri Vegetative Powers: Endowing Bodily Life from Antiquity to the Early Modern Time (forthcoming).

‘Mixing body and soul: Galen on the Substance of Soul in QAM and De Propriis Placitis,’ in Phronesis, 2020.

Selected talks

2019: ‘The End of Summer. Black Bile in Galen’, International Workshop The Greek and the Arabic Galen: Aspects of Galenic Medical Thought and Teaching, Vienna, 21-22 November 2019 (Convenors: dr. E. Wakelnig and Prof. T. Tieleman).

2019: ‘Presentation of QAM, ch. IV 772-782 K = 36,9-44,6 M = 13,9-25,14 B’, Reading Seminar CAW, Abdij van Westmalle, 20 September 2019.

2019: ‘The Substance of the Soul in Galen’, at Ancient Life Sciences: Aristotelian and Hellenistic approaches, Utrecht University, 23-24 April 2019.

2018: ‘A Green Thread from Galen to Early Modern Medicine: The Analogy Between Animals and Plants (with Fabrizio Baldassari), conference Galen and the Early Moderns, Venice, 25-26 October 2018.

2018: ‘An animal is a better plant; the vegetative soul in Galen,conference Vegetative Powers: Endowing Bodily Life from Late Antiquity to the Early-Modern Period, Padua, 12-13 September 2018.

2017:Wisdom and woe: the melancholic meeting of Democritus and Hippocrates,’ Oxford International PhD days, September 2017.

2017: ‘To those who wish to improve their soul: a reinterpretation of Galen’s QAM,’ The 2017 Cambridge Graduate Conference in Ancient Philosophy – Body and Corporeality in Ancient Philosophy, Cambridge University, 23-25 March 2017.

2017: ‘To those who wish to improve their soul, Galen and the care for one’s mixture as a philosophical practice,’ CRASIS Annual Meeting & Masterclass: Ancient Health. Concepts, Materiality, and the Experience of Life, RUG University Groningen, 02-02 March 2017.