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The Symptom and the Subject: The Emergence of the Physical by Brooke Holmes

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By Brooke Holmes

The Symptom and the topic takes an in-depth examine how the actual physique first emerged within the West as either an item of data and a mysterious a part of the self. starting with Homer, relocating via classical-era clinical treatises, and shutting with stories of early moral philosophy and Euripidean tragedy, this publication rewrites the conventional tale of the increase of body-soul dualism in old Greece. Brooke Holmes demonstrates that because the physique (sôma) turned an issue of actual inquiry, it decisively replaced historic Greek rules in regards to the that means of pain, the soul, and human nature.

By venture a brand new exam of organic and clinical facts from the 6th via fourth centuries BCE, Holmes argues that it was once largely via altering interpretations of indicators that folks started to understand the actual physique with the senses and the brain. as soon as attributed basically to social brokers like gods and daemons, indicators started to be defined by means of physicians by way of the actual elements hidden contained in the individual. Imagining a daemonic house contained in the individual yet mostly under the brink of feeling, those physicians helped to considerably rework what it intended for people to be weak, and ushered in a brand new ethics based at the accountability of taking good care of the self.

The Symptom and the topic highlights with clean value how classical Greek discoveries made attainable new and deeply influential methods of brooding about the human topic.

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Riese 1944; Major 1957; Jandolo 1967. Cf. Joly 1966; Edelstein 1967d. 3–28 on other forms of presentism in the study of ancient science. 149. 10 INTRODUCTION practices associated with ancient inquiries into the natural world with those of early modern science and the present day. 31 Historians of medicine have been engaged in what is arguably an even more sweeping intellectual renaissance. ”33 Such research has persuasively shown that the medical writers, while lively polemicists, in many cases provided new justification for conventional wisdom.

On medical representations of the female body, see below, pp. 185–87. 3–9, cautioning that we cannot gauge whether ancient physicians had the same power to influence these stereotypes as their eighteenth- and nineteenth-century counterparts. INTRODUCTION 11 to be characterized as rational. ”36 One reason for their wider relevance lies in the use they make of symptoms. 37 There are, however, several limitations to a strictly semiotic approach to the symptom. Reviewing these limitations will allow me to situate my approach to the symptom in relationship to recent work on the medical writers.

On early Greek concepts of intention, see Williams 1993, esp. 21–55. 124–27. 44 The literature for cognitive approaches to religion is large and growing rapidly: for recent overviews, see Boyer 2001; J. Barrett 2007. I am not suggesting that abductions of agency, discussed further in the next chapter, are more natural, that is, more intuitive, than naturalizing explanations. Such a position threatens to reinstate a teleological account of the transition from religion (primitive) to science (intellectually complex).

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