The Symptom and the Subject: The Emergence of the Physical Body in Ancient Greece

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-04-01

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The Symptom and the Subjecttakes an in-depth look at how the physical body first emerged in the West as both an object of knowledge and a mysterious part of the self. Beginning with Homer, moving through classical-era medical treatises, and closing with studies of early ethical philosophy and Euripidean tragedy, this book rewrites the traditional story of the rise of body-soul dualism in ancient Greece. Brooke Holmes demonstrates that as the body (socirc;ma) became a subject of physical inquiry, it decisively changed ancient Greek ideas about the meaning of suffering, the soul, and human nature.By undertaking a new examination of biological and medical evidence from the sixth through fourth centuries BCE, Holmes argues that it was in large part through changing interpretations of symptoms that people began to perceive the physical body with the senses and the mind. Once attributed primarily to social agents like gods and daemons, symptoms began to be explained by physicians in terms of the physical substances hidden inside the person. Imagining a daemonic space inside the person but largely below the threshold of feeling, these physicians helped to radically transform what it meant for human beings to be vulnerable, and ushered in a new ethics centered on the responsibility of taking care of the self.The Symptom and the Subjecthighlights with fresh importance how classical Greek discoveries made possible new and deeply influential ways of thinking about the human subject.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Note on Transliterations and Translationsp. xxiii
Introductionp. 1
Symptoms and Subjectsp. 1
Seeing through Symptomsp. 9
The Physical Imaginationp. 19
Rethinking Soma and Psukhep. 29
Telling Storiesp. 37
Before the Physical Bodyp. 41
Daemonic Violencep. 48
The Seen and the Feltp. 58
The Boundaries of the Feltp. 64
Fear and the Visual Field of the Selfp. 69
How Gods Actp. 73
The Seen Body and Social Agencyp. 76
Interpreting Disease and Practices of Healingp. 79
The Inquiry into Nature and the Physical Imaginationp. 84
Depersonalizing Causesp. 90
Natural Justicep. 95
Melissus and the Denial of Bodyp. 101
A Community of Objectsp. 108
Bodies, Persons, Knowledgep. 116
Incorporating the Daemonicp. 121
Symptoms at the Threshold of Seen and Unseenp. 126
The Intervalp. 130
Explaining Diseasep. 133
The Dynamics of the Cavityp. 138
The Automatic Bodyp. 142
Signs of Life and Techniques of Taking Carep. 148
The Prognostic Symptom: Forces of Life and Deathp. 150
Fragile Lifep. 156
On Ancient Medicine and the Discovery of Human Naturep. 162
Embodiment, Knowledge, and Technical Agencyp. 171
Taking Carep. 177
Shoring Up the Selfp. 182
Beyond the Soma: Therapies of the Psukhep. 192
Bodily Needsp. 196
Psychic Desiresp. 202
Gorgias's Encomium to Helen and Human Diseasesp. 211
Psychic Disorder in Democritusp. 216
Forces of Nature, Acts of Gods: Euripides' Symptomsp. 228
The Polysemy of the Symptomp. 233
Tragedy and the Intervalp. 239
Euripides' Causes: The Madness of Heraclesp. 242
Euripides' Causes: The Madness of Orestesp. 246
Realizing Disease in the Hippolytusp. 252
Daemonic Phusisp. 260
The Semantics of Sufferingp. 265
Conclusionp. 275
Bibliographyp. 281
Index Locorump. 325
General Indexp. 349
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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