On the medical history of the doctrine of imagination

Fischer-Homberger, Esther (1979). On the medical history of the doctrine of imagination. Psychological medicine, 9(4), pp. 619-628. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S003329170003395X

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In the early moderera the notion of imagination was made responsible for phenomena which were later explained in terms of embryology, genetics, psychology, bacteriology or other scientific disciplines. Images, often seated in the upper abdomen (hypochondriac region) or the womb (hysteria), were regarded as powerful influences on material reality. In the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the hypochondriac forms of imagination became mere whims and spleens, but they kept much of their original potency in respect of the uterus, accounting for monstrosities and the shaping of human offspring. The hysterical conversion of imagination into somatic phenomena has never been questioned. Since the two World Wars the realm of imagination has again expanded beyond the uterus and the older disease-concepts. In the last 10–20 years images seem to have regained some of their original creative force.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for the History of Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Fischer, Esther

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0033-2917

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marceline Brodmann

Date Deposited:

16 Jul 2020 16:18

Last Modified:

26 Jul 2020 18:17

Publisher DOI:

10.1017/S003329170003395X

PubMed ID:

390591

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.115399

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/115399

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