Ancient Philosophers on Mental Illness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHistory of Psychiatry
Volume30
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)3-18
Number of pages16
ISSN0957-154X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 3124 Neurology and psychiatry
  • 611 Philosophy
  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • Ancient medicine
  • ancient philosophy
  • history of madness
  • melancholy
  • mental illness
  • ARISTOTLE

Cite this

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Ancient Philosophers on Mental Illness. / Ahonen, Marke Pauliina.

In: History of Psychiatry, Vol. 30, No. 1, 03.2019, p. 3-18 .

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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