Jennifer Radden

in Melancholic Habits

Published in print January 2017 | ISBN: 9780199348190
Published online December 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780199348213 | DOI:

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Like the self-help manuals of its era, the Anatomy offers admonitions, prescriptions, and advice, from daily habits of body and mind, in the six nonnaturals of the Galenic regime sanitaire, to behavioral choices. Underlying these lie remedial principles: The remedies for melancholy primarily involve self-help; they are preventive, since habits may become immovably entrenched if not averted and avoided at the beginning; and are eclectic—only taken together will they prove effective. By contrast, clinical and research psychiatry remain tied to the common-cause etiological model of disease; efforts are directed toward treatment and the search for a single, universally applicable cure. The three principles noted suggest what is an apparently simplistic attitude toward the sufferer of severe mood disorders. On Burton’s understanding of the ambiguous notion of prevention, however, his elaborate regimen holds the promise that melancholy might have been prevented before it became entrenched disorder.

Keywords: Galen; regimen sanitaire; non-naturals; self-help; eclectic treatment; early prevention

Chapter.  10180 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind ; History of Western Philosophy

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