Alexander Crichton on the Passions

Louis C. CharlandIn a recent issue of History of Psychiatry, 19(3), Louis C. Charland (pictured right) presented the first systematic exegesis of Alexander Crichton‘s (1763-1856) contributions to the medical theory of the passions.

The present article explores four themes in Crichton’s work on the passions: (1) the role of irritability in the physiology of the passions; (2) the manner in which irritability and sensibility contribute to the valence, or polarity, of the passions; (3) the elaboration of a psychopathology of the passions that emphasizes their physiological form rather than meaningful content or connections; and (4) the insistence that medical science ought to ignore ethical and other ‘moral’ psychological and social aspects of the passions. [here]

A classic text by Crichton, “Mind in General” (1798), was also recently reprinted in the same journal.

About Jeremy Burman

Jeremy Trevelyan Burman is a senior doctoral student in York University’s Department of Psychology, specializing in the history of developmental psychology and its theory (especially that pertaining to Jean Piaget). Prior to returning to academia, he was a producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.