Avvocato Gerardo Marotta (Naples April 26, 1927- January 25, 2017): in memoriam

Abstract

This paper summarizes life and works of Avvocato Gerardo Marotta (1927-2017), Founder and President of the Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies from 1975 until his death. He obtained cum laude the Degree in Law discussing a thesis on “The Concept of State in Classical German Philosophy and Hegelian Left”. He was a follower of the Italian Institute for Historical Studies founded by the Philosopher Benedetto Croce. He was a fellow of the Gramsci Group of Naples and a founder of the Association New Culture. He and his young colleagues were very appreciated by the leaders of the Communist Party, however they could not be regimented and were expelled in 1954. Later Marotta was for 20 years a successful lawyer with great expertise in Administrative Law. Finally, he created  the Italian Institute of Philosophical Studies and drove it to international appreciation. The list of Marotta’s Honors is impressive. He collected more than 300,000 books and journals devoted to Philosophy and History which will finally be utilized in a specific library funded by the Campania Region. He is known as the last Jacobin (as per his own definition), has been defined L’Homme des Lumières by Jacques Derrida. He supported Nephrology for a series of programs of vast culture, such as: i. the birth of the International Association for the History of Nephrology (1993), ii. the Appeal for Clinical Research (1997), iii. Survival is not Enough (2007 to present) and iiii. the International Conference on the Human Capital of Age (2016).

Key words: Gerardo Marotta, Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies, History of Nephrology, Appeal for Clinical Research, Survival is Not Enough, The Human Capital of Age

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Aphorisms related to nephrological subjects in Rhazes’ Kitāb al-Murshid aw al-Fuṣūl (The Guide Book or The Book of Aphorisms)

Abstract

We present the aphorisms related to nephrology in The Guide Book or The Book of Aphorisms (Kitāb al-Murshid aw al-Fuūl) by Rhazes (865-925 AD), based on the edited version of the book by the noted historian of Islamic Medicine A. Z. Iskandar published in 1961. We briefly discuss the aphorisms related to nephrology presented in the Guide Book under the titles of “diuresis”, “the urine”, “discharge of excretions of the kidneys”, “discharge of excretions of the bladder”. The aphorisms contain basic and general physiological and pathological information on diuresis and urine based on traditional humoral principles. They do not address any specific diseases.

Keywords: Rhazes, Medieval medicine, The Guide Book, The Book of Aphorisms, History of Nephrology

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Nils Alwall- a personal appreciation

Abstract

I first met Nils in 1964 at the founding of the EDTA (sic) in Amsterdam. I was 29, he was 60. Later I worked with him, now retired from clinical work, on committees over the next couple of decades. During this time he assumed Presidency of both the EDTA and the ISN; he was one of the major founders of Nephrology, as well as a pioneer of and major contributor to electrolyte balance, haemodialysis, ultrafiltration and related techniques. He had introduced renal biopsy in 1944, but remained silent on this subject until after Claus Brun published his work 8 years later. Nils studied arteriovenous shunts for repeated dialysis during the 1940s, but was blocked by the red rubber and glass tubing – all that was then available. I was immediately impressed by the quiet modesty of this most original man; but despite this he achieved international fame in Europe, although was never well known in the United States. His Festschrift in 1985 in Nephron amply demonstrated his status. His “rival”Pim Kolff (1911-2009) was in contrast slightly younger, outlived Nils by 20 years, and was a fine communicator and great extrovert. Nils was a physiologist and pharmacologist until 36 years old, only then becoming a clinician. Strangely Nils had performed the first haemodialysis at my alma mater, Guy’s Hospital London, in 1948 on a visit, 15 years before we established a renal unit there. Characteristically, he never told me about this event, and I only discovered the story after his death.

Keywords: Nils Alwall, History of haemodialysis, history of nephrology

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