Moody Minds Distempered: Essays on Melancholy and Depression

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Overview

In Moody Minds Distempered philosopher Jennifer Radden assembles several decades of her research on melancholy and depression. The chapters are ordered into three categories: those about intellectual and medical history of melancholy and depression; those that emphasize aspects of the moral, psychological and medical features of these concepts; and finally, those that explore the sad and apprehensive mood states long associated with melancholy and depressive subjectivity. A newly written introduction maps the conceptual landscape, and draws out the analytic and thematic interconnections between the chapters.

Radden emphasizes and develops several new themes: the implications, theoretical phenomenological and moral, of recognizing melancholy and depressive states as mood states; questions of method, as they affect how we understand and characterize claims about melancholy and depression; and the persistence and force of cultural tropes linking such states to brilliance, creativity, and sagacity. Insights from literature and the history of medicine, psychology, and psychiatry are woven together with those from the more recent disciplines of feminist theory and cultural studies. This is interdisciplinary writing at its best-part analytic philosophy, and part history of ideas.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Jennifer Radden has, over many years of original research, produced a series of papers that shows us what the rigorous study of melancholy should look like. By bringing together most of those papers in one volume, O.U.P. has done a great service to the multi-disciplinary readership to which Radden's work is addressed."—Anthony Hatzimoysis, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195338287
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/16/2008
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Radden's research is focused on philosophical issues arising out of mental health concepts and policy, and psychiatric practice. She is past president of the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry, and her published work includes The Nature of Melancholy: From Aristotle to Kristeva. She edited The Philosophy of Psychiatry: A Companion (OUP 2004).

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Section 1: HISTORY: Intellectual and medical history of melancholy and depression
1. Melancholia in the Writing of a Sixteenth Century Spanish Nun
2. Melancholy, History of a Concept
3. Melancholy and Melancholia
Section 2: CATEGORIES: Melancholy and Depression as Medical, Psychological, and Moral Concepts
4. Is this Dame Melancholy? Equating Depression and Melancholia
5. The Psychiatry of Cross Cultural Suffering
6. Epidemic Depression and Burtonian Melancholy
7. Emotional Pain and Psychiatry
8. Lumps and Bumps: Kantian Faculty Psychology, Phrenology and Twentieth Century Psychiatric Classification
9. Love and Loss in Freud's "Mourning and Melancholia": a Rereading
Section 3: SUBJECTIVITY: Melancholy as Subjective, Sad and Apprehensive Moods
10. My Symptoms, Myself: Reading Mental Illness Memoirs for Identity Assumptions
11. Melancholy, Mood and Landscape
12. Review of Against Depression by Peter Kramer

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