Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours

Passions and Tempers A History of the Humours The humours blood phlegm black bile and choler were substances thought to circulate within the body and determine a person s health mood and character For example an excess of black bile was con

  • Title: Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours
  • Author: Noga Arikha
  • ISBN: 9780060731168
  • Page: 428
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The humours blood, phlegm, black bile, and choler were substances thought to circulate within the body and determine a person s health, mood, and character For example, an excess of black bile was considered a cause of melancholy The theory of humours remained an inexact but powerful tool for centuries, surviving scientific changes and offering clarity to physicians.ThisThe humours blood, phlegm, black bile, and choler were substances thought to circulate within the body and determine a person s health, mood, and character For example, an excess of black bile was considered a cause of melancholy The theory of humours remained an inexact but powerful tool for centuries, surviving scientific changes and offering clarity to physicians.This one of a kind book follows the fate of these variable and invisible fluids from their Western origin in ancient Greece to their present day versions It traces their persistence from medical guidebooks of the past to current health fads, from the testimonies of medical doctors to the theories of scientists, physicians, and philosophers By intertwining the histories of medicine, science, psychology, and philosophy, Noga Arikha revisits and revises how we think about all aspects of our physical, mental, and emotional selves.

    One thought on “Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours”

    1. As some have said, Ms. Arikha missed an opportunity. Though her history and her writing was competent, she did not engage the reader, which would have been a fairly simple task given her narrow audience. All that she needed to do was give us more about the humours themselves: what a superfluity of choler was supposed to do, what a dearth of phlegm did other than cause a head cold, etc. She went into great detail about old, sometimes ancient medical records, but never gave a likely or possible ex [...]

    2. I have the soft-cover version. The book drags in the first parts, and only really gets interesting in the last few chapters, as Arikha discusses how the passions and tempers still influence medicine today.I was trying to find more information about how the ancients thought about the humoural theory, and how they thought it actually worked. All the book really told me is that, yes, the ancients had a theory or two, and it was slowly replaced by different theories. Depression (melancholy) gets sli [...]

    3. "It's not you, it's me. I didn't realize you'd be so philosophical. I'm more of an applied than theoretical gal".I just couldn't get into this one. I skipped to the botanicals section, thinking "Here we go" and instead was gripped by the same malaise.

    4. Have people always believed they had personalities? If we define personality was what makes a person unique as a result of biological hardwiring plus socialization the answer is a resounding “No”. For most of history and across cultures people believed that their nature was determined by some combination of astrological influence and the proportion of liquids in the body. The latter was called temperament.Noga Artkha takes up this fascinating topic in her book Passions and Tempers: A History [...]

    5. A history of Western thought seen through the lens of medical theory and practice. What is health? What causes illness? How can illness be cured? Can illness be cured forever - conquering mortality? In order to consider these questions, thinkers imagined and invented concepts of the soul, the mind, and the fluids that sustained them. As Arikha makes connections betwixt and between science, religion, and philosophy, she has much to say about the human tendency toward patternicity, about the gaps [...]

    6. Maybe I'm just a huge nerd but this was really captivating. Really more of a history of philosophy through the lens of the human body, the book delves less into the inner workings of humours and more into the thought processes that were behind humoural thinking. The conclusion is a little scattered for an otherwise thoroughly researched work, but it was accessible without being "pop" academic reading.

    7. A tour de force of history, philosophy, and science, this book is great for folks interested in classical medicine. As a teacher, I found it useful for examining Shakespeare's language, a writer whose work I am reading alongside some students. On a more personal level, I found it fascinating to read about scientific innovations and obsessions that, to me, seemed like downright dreadful medicine yet so resonated with the times and places of their origins.

    8. Short book chronicles the history of the prevailing theory of medicine of the ancients the humours. Fascinating how they tied the four humours into practically everything, health, disposition, body size, etc. This system prevailed for more than 2500 years amazing! Supposedly the humours ideology completely went away with the advent of modern medicine, but Arikha shows how even today some hints of the humours make their way into modern medicine.

    9. This is a dense, but highly informative book. Arikha has a firm command of her topic and offers insights that go well beyond standard approaches/understandings of the humors, health, and healing. I especially appreciated they way she traces this way of understanding of the body from Antiquity all the way into our modern age.

    10. Cultural history of the idea that health was governed by four humors, and treated by re-balancing them, particularly good at explaining why, in the absence of modern tools of diagnosis, bile, phlegm, blood and (the imaginary, it turns out) black bile made sense to the smartest people in the Western World for a thousand years.

    11. Horrible! This was the first book in about 10 years that I DIDN'T FINISH! After I was 1/3 of the way through the author was just stating who had written about the humors and when, not even really telling the reader what they said about them. I would give this book a -5 stars if I could.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *