Medicine and the Mind

Rhodri Hayward

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199546497
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Medicine and the Mind

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History maintains an ambiguous role with regard to the mind sciences. It can be used to demonstrate the universality of psychological characteristics, capacities, and illnesses or it can serve to demonstrate their relative bases by revealing the implicit assumptions that guide modern research as well as the specific configurations of theory, practice, and technology that allowed the mind sciences to emerge and their subject-matter to be articulated. This article embraces this second approach. It outlines four broad constructions of the psyche — the inscribable, the historical, the adaptable, and the statistical — and shows how their articulation has made possible new kinds of self-understanding and social interaction. It also makes broad claims for the universal basis of psychological phenomena. This discussion focuses on the specific conceptions of mental medicine that have emerged in Europe and North America since the end of the eighteenth century. This psychological language makes possible our modern experience of mind, self, and mental illness.

Keywords: mind sciences; modern research; psyche; psychological; mental medicine

Article.  8995 words. 

Subjects: History ; Social and Cultural History

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