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Ancient philosophers on mental illness

Ahonen, Marke

History of psychiatry. Volume 30:Issue 1 (2019); pp 3-18 -- Sage Publications

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  • Title:
    Ancient philosophers on mental illness
  • Author: Ahonen, Marke
  • Found In: History of psychiatry. Volume 30:Issue 1 (2019); pp 3-18
  • Journal Title: History of psychiatry
  • Subjects: Mental illness--History--Periodicals; Psychiatry--History--Periodicals; Ancient medicine--ancient philosophy--history of madness--melancholy--mental illness; Dewey: 616.89009
  • Rights: legaldeposit
  • Publication Details: Sage Publications
  • Abstract:

    This article explores how the ancient philosophers from Plato to late antiquity understood mental illness. It outlines when, how and in what kind of contexts the phenomenon of mental illness was recognized in the ancient philosophical texts, how mental illness was understood in terms of the body–mind interaction, and how mental disorders of the medical kind were distinguished from non-medical psychic disturbances. It establishes that, while the philosophers mostly understood mental illness along the lines of ancient medical thinking, their ideas, for example on the nature and location of the soul, informed their theories of mental illness.


  • Identifier: System Number: LDEAvdc_100079478090.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 0957-154X; 10.1177/0957154X18803508
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): ELD Digital store

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