By Geoffrey Sill
This new examine examines the position of the passions within the upward push of the English novel. Geoffrey Sill examines clinical, non secular, and literary efforts to anatomize the passions, paying specific consciousness to the works of Dr. Alexander Monro of Edinburgh, Reverend John Lewis of Margate, and Daniel Defoe, novelist and usual historian of the passions. He indicates that the determine of the "physician of the brain" is in demand not just in Defoe's novels, but additionally in these of Fielding, Richardson, Smollett, Burney, and Edgeworth.
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Extra resources for The Cure of the Passions and the Origins of the English Novel
60 The hedges in Monro's discussion of Servetus's and Columbus's accounts of pulmonary circulation allow him to discount their significance, thereby reserving the discovery for his countryman Harvey. He describes the attention paid to Servetus as an effort to "rob" Oater, "deprive") Harvey of his glory, and characterizes Servetus as a heretic. 26 He alleges that Servetus denied the existence of the Trinity, though Servetus maintained at his trial that he had only questioned the means through which the Son of God had been created.
The materialist La Mettrie explained all such acts as "a simple disposition of the sensoriumcommune, which is nothing but a purely mechanical arrangement of the parts of the medulla of the brain," while the vitalist Stahl accounted for all physical activity in terms of an immaterial soul, working through the will. 1 3 Boerhaave's teaching, as Kathleen Wellman has explained, offered either materialist or vitalist explanations for diseases as seemed appropriate for each case. 1 4 This eclectic, clinical approach was the method he taught to the first five professors in the school of medicine at Edinburgh, including Alexander Monro.
1 1 Though this doctrine failed to explain either sensation or motion, it permitted physicians to view the body as a system that operated according to the laws of hydrostatics, hydraulics, and mechanics in Hermann Boerhaave's phrase, a machinanervosa,a "moving nervous machine," driven by its passions, appetites, and affections. 1 2 Because he based his deductions solely on mechanical principles which could readily be observed in the functions of the body, Boerhaave avoided speculations on the nature of the soul and its relation to the body.