Medieval Psychology: Simon Kemp

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Greenwood Press, 1990 - Psychology - 185 pages
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This book describes the psychological ideas current in medieval Europe and their development during the period. The book aims partly to correct misperceptions about the nature of psychology in the Middle Ages. An important theme presented in this work is the surprising unity and coherence of medieval psychology. Chapter 1 gives a brief historical background to the Middle Ages, and outlines two major influences on medieval psychology: Christian beliefs and the earlier views of classical philosophers and physicians. Chapter 2 outlines medieval views on the nature of the soul and spirit, particularly those views derived from Aristotle. Chapter 3 deals with medieval theories of perception, particularly visual perception, while chapter 4 covers cognition and memory, particularly the medieval doctrine of the inner senses, according to which many cognitive functions were performed in the ventricles of the brain. Chapter 5 considers and evaluates Thomas Aquinas' account of emotion and will.

Chapters 2 through 5 consider psychological phenomena mainly discussed by medieval scholastics; the phenomena in chapter 6 to 9, however, were often discussed by people with a less philosophical approach. Chapter 6 considers medieval accounts of individual differences, in particular the doctrine of the humors and the influence of astrology. Chapters 7 and 8 are concerned with widely different aspects of, and approaches to, mental disorder in the Middle Ages. Chapter 9 briefly describes a few further aspects of medieval psychology, and in the final chapter some conclusions are drawn. This book is written for people with a general interest in medieval studies, and will also appeal to historians of medieval psychology or medicine.

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Preface be 1 Historical Background
The Medieval Soul
Sensation and Perception

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About the author (1990)

SIMON KEMP is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. His current areas of interest are in perception, cognition, and the history of psychology.

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