Two Psychosomatic Theories

Ralph Colp Jr. M.D.

in Darwin's Illness

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032313
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039237 | DOI:
Two Psychosomatic Theories

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In 1974, two English doctors—Sir Hedley Atkins and Professor George Pickering—published books containing chapters on the symptoms and causations of Charles Darwin's illness, stating that Darwin had a psychosomatic illness caused by his evolutionary theory. Sir Hedley depicted Darwin's interaction with his theory. On the other hand, Professor Pickering postulated that “the cause of Darwin's psychoneurosis was the conflict between his passionate desire to collect convincing evidence for his hypothesis and the threat imposed on his work by social intercourse”. It is believed that Darwin's mental conflicts and the controversial nature of the subject he was working on could have resulted in his becoming ill without Chagas', but such an illness may have been less severe than the illness he had.

Keywords: Charles Darwin; Sir Hedley Atkins; Professor George Pickering; psychosomatic illness; evolutionary theory; psychoneurosis

Chapter.  415 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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