humoralism


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Related to humoralism: The four humours

humoralism

(ˈhjuːmərəˌlɪzəm)
n
(Anatomy) a theory of the composition and workings of the human body, based on the idea that it was filled with four basic substances, or humours, adopted by Greek and Roman physicians and philosophers.

humoralism, humouralism

an obsolete physiological explanation of health, disease, and behavior, asserting that the relative proportions of four elemental bodily fluids or humors (blood-sanguinity, phlegm-sluggishness, black bile-melancholy, and yellow bile-choler) determined a person’s physical and mental constitution. — humoral, humoural, adj.
See also: Behavior
References in periodicals archive ?
The bias toward humoralism goes hand in hand with a critique of modern medical practice, in particular its secularization of the body and its desacralizing of the soul.
65) But whereas Kuchar's reading of Donne's body as text later examines humoralism and Galenic physiology in exploration of this theme, my reading is less concerned with what we can read about Donne's body through his text; I am more interested in what Donne can read through his body as text.
Whereas Bedford draws on humoralism to suggest that the tension in the play between the characters' 'intrinsic natures and desires and the extrinsic nature of circumstance' highlights 'the treacherous incontinence of [the characters'] own emotional natures', Scott sees Troilus's self-proclaimed feeling of giddiness as a 'self-aware exploration of the dynamic interaction of emotion and cognition in understanding', depicting 'a process of emotion, which is shown to be subtly compatible rather than obstructive to cognitive rationality' (141, 143; 130, 132).
With the addition of other texts such as herbals and plague tracts, most of which also used humoralism as the medical model, Slack estimates (assuming a life of about thirty years per book) some 166,000 vernacular medical books still in circulation in 1604.
While the introduction works to situate the volume within broader contexts, individual essays do not always engage fully with scrutinizing the now-substantial body of scholarship on humoralism, or prior literary criticism that one might wish to find in a collection about the representation of disease in early modern England and Europe written by both literary-oriented critics and historians; however, the clear strength of Sins of the Flesh is its breadth of illustrative material and methodological approaches to "reading this disease," which, Siena reminds us, "is a complex process" (13) indeed.
Despite serving as the guiding compass of Western medicine for most of the past two millennia, Greek humoralism has come to seem strangely irrelevant, inscrutably alien.
Papers cover extra-mural psychoanalytic topics such as sexuality, imaginary and real anatomies, love and humoralism in the context of "soft" psychoanalysis, conducting psychoanalysis in the context of the corpse, compulsions of the Renaissance, and the use of the fetish.
There is ultimately a real question about the extent to which humoralism and racialism can be assumed to be the same thing, a question exacerbated by the fact that Floyd-Wilson makes no attempt to locate her construction of geohumoral ethnology in terms of some recent discussions of early modern English notions of race, such as Margo Hendricks's important survey essay, "Surveying Race.
Yet contrary to the tenets of classical Greek humoralism, Jacques Chevalier and Andres Sanchez Bain propose a unique Mexican model based not on a simple equilibrium of temperature but rather on cyclical daily movements within a life-long trajectory of heliotropic growth.
The analysis focuses on Conti's reactivation of the humoralism of classic antiquity in the context of Enlightenment philosophy.
First of ali she explains her father's disease through her knowledge of humoralism, rooted in a close and deep reading of classical authors.
Thus, Boerhaave prepared the ground for the rise of a new form of humoralism, one in which the chemical composition of body fluids in health and disease would figure prominently (9).