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, 19 (75 Pt 3), 275-96

Alexander Crichton on the Psychopathology of the Passions

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Alexander Crichton on the Psychopathology of the Passions

Louis C Charland. Hist Psychiatry.

Abstract

Alexander Crichton (1763-1856) made significant contributions to the medical theory of the passions, yet there exists no systematic exegesis of this particular aspect of his work. The present article explores four themes in Crichton's work on the passions: (1) the role of irritability in the physiology of the passions; (2) the manner in which irritability and sensibility contribute to the valence, or polarity, of the passions; (3) the elaboration of a psychopathology of the passions that emphasizes their physiological form rather than meaningful content or connections; and (4) the insistence that medical science ought to ignore ethical and other 'moral' psychological and social aspects of the passions.

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