(Chapter 18) Footnote 28:
These more or less Aristotelian topics represent the abstract concerns of Scholastic thought, in contrast with the purely scientific attention of Vesalius to the solid facts of human anatomy. The first of the old disputations, arsne an scientia sit [medicina], arises from Aristotle’s distinction in the Ethics between scientific knowledge or e)pisth/mh and art (craft) or te/xnh, 1139b18-1140a11. The Hippocratic Aphorism that “life is short, art long,” had been cited in the 13th century to prove that medicine is techne, while Avicenna had it at the beginning of the Canon that medicine is a scientia. Scholastic Galenism in the 14th century became the basis for medicine’s claim to a new, elevated status as scientia. Vesalius dissociates himself from these now ancient controversies, and distances himself likewise from philosophy. Unlike Galen, and despite his acceptance of Galen’s personified Natura who does nothing in vain, Vesalius makes the sharp distinction between science and philosophy (which he ridicules here as ineptiae) that is a central feature of modern thought.