The Emergence of Obsession

in Obsession

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780226137827
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226137797 | DOI:
The Emergence of Obsession

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This chapter shows how monomania paved the way for obsessive diseases, obsessive practices, and a general culture of attention, focus, specialization—all of these linked to the rise of professions and science. There was no necessity that these features would coalesce into a culture of obsession, but there seems to be a trend, a river made up converging streams, a zeitgeist within a culture, that leads to both the concept of scientific observation and its dark side, the diseases of hyperattention and obsessive focus.

Keywords: monomania; obsessive diseases; obsessive practice; scientific observation; hyperattention; obsessive focus

Chapter.  5255 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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