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Passions and tempers : a history of the humours

Author: Noga Arikha
Publisher: New York : Harper Perennial, 2008.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st Harper Perennial edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
For centuries everyone in Europe from physicians to peasant mothers knew that the only way to preserve health was to keep the humors of the body in balance. The four humors: choler, phlegm, black bile and blood, each have their own necessary use but too much of any one can result in both physical and mental illness. Now most people find this belief quaint. Arikha, who received a doctorate in history from the Warburg  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Noga Arikha
ISBN: 9780060731175 0060731176
OCLC Number: 179806792
Description: xxi, 376 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 21 cm
Contents: Prologue --
A note on terminology --
I. Foundations: ancient insights (Antiquity: sixth century BC to second century AD) --
Cosmic elements --
Human elements --
Types, temperaments, and environments --
Prescriptions and priests --
From Greece to Alexandria --
The naked eye --
The breath of life --
Alexandrian sects and Galenic travels --
Primordial passions --
Three souls --
II. Essences: the classical trail (eastern Middle Ages: seventh to twelfth centuries) --
Byzantium --
The Arab conquest --
Hunayn ibn-Is'haq and the translators --
Divine creation and human frailty --
Religion and emotion --
New departures --
Persian insights --
Out of Spain --
III. Remedies: miraculous medicine (western Middle Ages: fifth to fourteenth centuries) --
Faith and healing --
Scholasticism and humoural care --
Old convictions --
The high and the low --
Outsiders --
Bloody treatments --
Verbena, olives, and herbal power --
Apothecaries, alchemists, and amulets --
Airs, waters, places, diets --
Fearful epidemics --
Life after death --
IV. Harmonies: Renaissance bodies and melancholy souls (Renaissance: fifteenth century to early seventeenth century) --
Hypochondria at court --
The black sun --
Mind, matter, and metaphysics --
Cosmic attunement --
Musical therapy --
Artistic astrology --
Paracelsus and the magic of nature --
Corpses, books, and reputations --
Beauty beneath the skin --
New bodies, old science --
Diagnosing melancholy --
Love-maladies --
Uterine fury and satyriasis --
Anti-melancholy antidotes --
V. Nature: of blood, airs, and reasons (Scientific revolution: seventeenth century) --
New science, old bodies --
Campanella's heavens and Galileo's revolutions --
Atoms and humours --
From spirits to circulation --
Harvey's blood --
Cartesian souls --
Anti-humours --
Empiricism --
Medical secrets and popular healers --
Transfusions and confusion --
VI. Brain: passions and nerves (The making of modernity: seventeenth to nineteenth centuries) --
Cartesian humours --
The physiological self --
The sensitive soul --
Introducing "neurologie" --
Englightened thinkers, old-fashioned doctors, and the embodied mind --
Of mechanism and vitalism --
Nervous juice --
The material soul --
Modern humours --
Mental illness --
Mesmerism --
The birth of psychiatry --
Brain localization --
Hypnosis, hysterics, neurosis --
VII. Science: contemporary humours (Twentieth and twenty-first centuries) --
The neurological self --
The pharmaceutical self --
Brain images and body image --
The emotional self --
New temperaments --
Mind over matter --
The regimen returns --
Full circle.
Other Titles: History of the humours
Responsibility: Noga Arikha.

Abstract:

Arikha intertwines the histories of medicine, science, psychology, and philosophy in this 2,500-year journey that explores the origins of humours in ancient Greece to the present day.  Read more...

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"...this persistent [humoural] theory...has much to teach us..." -- New York Sun "Passions and Tempers may excite the passions and tempers...as a good work of intellectual history should." -- Read more...

 
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