Rethinking the Mind-Body Relationship in Early Modern Literature, Philosophy, and Medicine: The Renaissance of the Body, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Rethinking the Mind-Body Relationship in Early Modern Literature, Philosophy, and Medicine

The Renaissance of the Body, 1st Edition

By Charis Charalampous

Routledge

168 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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Description

This book explores a neglected feature of intellectual history and literature in the early modern period: the ways in which the body was theorized and represented as an intelligent cognitive agent, with desires, appetites, and understandings independent of the mind. It considers the works of early modern physicians, thinkers, and literary writers who explored the phenomenon of the independent and intelligent body. Charalampous rethinks the origin of dualism that is commonly associated with Descartes, uncovering hitherto unknown lines of reception regarding a form of dualism that understands the body as capable of performing complicated forms of cognition independently of the mind. The study examines the consequences of this way of thinking about the body for contemporary philosophy, theology, and medicine, opening up new vistas of thought against which to reassess perceptions of what literature can be thought and felt to do. Sifting and assessing this evidence sheds new light on a range of historical and literary issues relating to the treatment, perception, and representation of the human body. This book examines the notion of the thinking body across a wide range of genres, topics, and authors, including Montaigne’s Essays, Spenser’s allegorical poetry, Donne’s metaphysical poetry, tragic dramaturgy, Shakespeare, and Milton’s epic poetry and shorter poems. It will be essential for those studying early modern literature, cognition, and the body.

Reviews

“This study is a much-needed volume in a neglected field.” - Kate Gath, University of Sheffield, British Society for Literature and Science

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Intelligent Bodies in Early Modern Philosophy, Medicine and Literature 2. Montaigne’s Corporeal Self: A Dialectics of Bisubjectivity and its Medicinal Virtues 3. The Allegory of the Body and the Body of Allegory in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene 4. Thinking (of) Feelings: Reaching for the Divine in Donne’s Poetry 5. The Intelligent Body on the Stage and the Wonder of Tragic Pleasure 6. Milton’s Prophetic Mission: At the Boarders of Poetry and Music 7. Epilogue: The Afterlives of the Intelligent Body

About the Author

Charis Charalampous is the Toby Jackman Isaac Newton Research Fellow at St Edmund's College, Cambridge, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture

From Shakespeare to Jonson, Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture looks at both the literature and culture of the early modern period. This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering literature alongside theatre, popular culture, race, gender, ecology, space, and other subjects, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General
LIT015000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Shakespeare
LIT019000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Renaissance