Pain and Emotion in Modern History by Robert Gregory Boddice

By Robert Gregory Boddice

Drawing at the services of old, literary and philosophical scholarship, practising physicians, and the clinical humanities it is a precise interdisciplinary collaboration, styled as a background. It explores discomfort on the intersection of the dwelling, discomfort physique, and the discursive cultural webs that entangle it in its particular second.

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Though the diagnosis of cancer was regarded by patients as a form of death sentence, the recognition of the incurability of the disease did not prevent the proliferation of remedies. On the contrary, from the mid-sixteenth century to the early 1830s, the general rejection of humoral theory led to an increase of competing explanations regarding its nature, causes and treatments. From the point of view of both patients and medical practitioners, experience came to show that cancer was not always deadly.

While historians usually do not take part in debates related to the existence or non-existence of placebo effects, we may still have something to say regarding the way in which our sources should be interpreted and the form in which some of those illness narratives must be read. Anachronism may very well be one of the capital sins of our endeavours, but we are still forced to choose between the blind acceptance of our testimonies or the firm rejection of our historical records. Cancer Before cancer reached the 25 per cent death rate that it has today, the fear caused by the disease did not come from its statistical incidence.

Instead, a preliminary assessment of a particular phenomenon’s value to the self disposes the person to want to secure or to shun the phenomenon. These dispositions are classified by level of intensity: if a person finds a particular phenomenon pleasing, he/she may feel a liking or preference (hao ᅢ) for it, a frisson of delight (xi ༑), or a more lasting sense of pleasure (le ᮔ). On the other hand, if the phenomenon fails to please, she may feel dislike or distaste (wu ᗇ), a spurt of anger (nu ᔶ), or a more profound and lasting sense of pain and loss (ai ຟ).

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