Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours

December 12, 2019 - Comment

Physicians in ancient Greece believed four humours flowed within the human body—blood, phlegm, black bile, and choler—determining a person’s health, mood, and character. Not until the seventeenth century would a more complex view of the anatomy begin to emerge. But by then humoural theory had already become deeply ingrained in Western language and thought—and endures

Physicians in ancient Greece believed four humours flowed within the human body—blood, phlegm, black bile, and choler—determining a person’s health, mood, and character. Not until the seventeenth century would a more complex view of the anatomy begin to emerge. But by then humoural theory had already become deeply ingrained in Western language and thought—and endures to this day in surprising ways.

Interweaving the histories of medicine, science, psychology, and philosophy, Passions and Tempers explores the uncanny persistence of these variable, invisible fluids. It will change how we view our physical, mental, and emotional selves.

Product Features

  • Harper Perennial

Comments

Anonymous says:

Prehistory of Personality Theory: A History of Temperament 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:…

Anonymous says:

Exhaustively researched and detailed, a remarkable history of medicine I was expecting a brief, even cursory history of medicine in the ancient world. Instead, _Passions and Tempers_ is a detailed history of western medicine, from pre-Socratic thinkers through Plato and Aristotle, Hippocrates and Galen to the late 19th century. It is fascinating reading not only because of the detail and depth – Arikha not only summarizes humoral theory (and its evolution), but also explains the reasoning behind the ideas of how the human body was thought to work. Of particular…

Anonymous says:

Five Stars Cant get enough of the four humors. Thanks Noga Arikha!

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