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AnimalsA History$
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Peter Adamson and G. Fay Edwards

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199375967

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199375967.001.0001

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Animals in the Renaissance*

Animals in the Renaissance*

you eat what you are

(p.163) Chapter Six Animals in the Renaissance*

Cecilia Muratori

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the philosophical implications of Renaissance discussions of cannibalism, and more generally the pressure put on conceptions of human and animal in the wake of the discovery of the New World. Drawing on the medical tradition, Renaissance thinkers discussed the relationship between the diet, physical constitution, and rationality of various beings, including humans. One result of reflection on these issues was a blurring of the boundary line between human and animal; another was the development of the idea that human character depends to some extent on diet, so that, quite literally, you are what you eat.

Keywords:   Renaissance, exploration, New World, cannibalism, medicine, Cardano, Montaigne

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