“Neuroses of the Stomach” in Isis

The March 2007 issue of the leading history of science journal, Isis, sports an article entitled, “Neuroses of the Stomach: Eating, Gender, and Psychopathology in French Medicine, 1800-1870.” The article examines the debate between “cerebralist” physicians, who located the origins of such conditions in the brain, and “visceralist” physicians, who followed ancient precedent in locating them in the stomach itself. The article also comments on the relationship between 19th-century “neuroses of the stomach” and modern “anorexia.” The author, Elizabeth A. Williams, is from the history dept. at Oklahoma State U. Unfortunately, one can access the electronic version of the article only if one (or one’s school) subscribes.

About Christopher Green

Professor of Psychology at York University (Toronto). Former editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Creator of the "Classics in the History of Psychology" website and of the "This Week in the History of Psychology" podcast series.