Black Bile, Manic Depression and Melancholy: Two Pillars of Our Understanding

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Jason Tipton

Abstract

I aim to demonstrate the movement of the argument of the Aristotelian Problem XXX.1 as it illuminates the phenomena of melancholy, which it is argued is more rightly understood as manic depression, and black bile.  The discussion will aid contemporary researchers in psychiatry as well as those in ancient philosophy and medicine.  An appeal to both Emil Kraeplin and the Aristotelian author will demonstrate surprising resonances.  An appeal to Aristotle’s discussion of anger in the De Anima will make clearer what is at stake in Problem XXX.1.

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How to Cite
TIPTON, Jason. Black Bile, Manic Depression and Melancholy: Two Pillars of Our Understanding. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 9, n. 4, apr. 2021. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <https://esmed.org/MRA/mra/article/view/2363>. Date accessed: 14 may 2021. doi: https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v9i4.2363.
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References

Aristotle. De Anima, translated by Joe Sachs (2001), Green Lion Press, Santa Fe, NM.

Engstrom, Eric J. 2007. “On the Question of Degeneration” by Emil Kraeplin, History of Psychiatry, 28(3): 389-404.

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Northwood (1998), H. 1998. “The melancholic mean: the Aristotelian mean: the Aristotelian Problema XXX.1.” Presented at: the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy; Boston, MA; August 10-15, 1998. Accessed 10 May 2019 http://bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Anci/AnciNort.htm.

Pies, Ronald. 2007. The historical roots of the ‘bipolar spectrum;’ Did Aristotle anticipate Kraepelin’s broad concept of manic depression. Journal of Affective Disorders Volume 100, Issues 1–3, Pages 7-11.

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Telenbach, Hubertus. 1961. Melancholy: History of the Problem, Endogeneity, Typology Pathogenesis, Clinical Considerations, translated by Erling Eng, Duquesne University Press, Pittsburgh.

van der Eijk, Philip. 2005. Medicine and Philosophy in Classical Antiquity: Doctors and Philosophers on Nature, Soul, Health and Disease. Cambridge University Press.

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