Justin Croft Antiquarian Books - Rare and Antiquarian Books and Manuscripts
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FERRIAR, John. ~ An essay towards a theory of apparitions. London: Cadell and Davies, 1813.
The physician John Ferriar was among the first to argue that ghostly apparitions should be understood as psychological rather than supernatural phenomena and should be investigated therefore by scholars of the brain. His theme was human insanity, both temporary and permanent, and he provides numerous examples of 'apparitions' from his own medical experience together with influential accounts of the characters of literary creations who were touched by madness, including Hamlet and Don Quixote.
Ferriar was a Scot by birth but practiced in Manchester where he became acquainted with the important and radical circle associated with the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society. He worked on theories of the 'vital principles' of life (a notion which became central to Romantic preoccupations) and published his important Essay on the Medical Properties of the Digitalis Purpurea, or Foxglove in 1799.
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CARUS, Carl Gustav. ~ Vorlesungen über Psychologie, gehalten im Winter 1829/30 zu Dresden... Leipzig: Gerhard Fleischer for Adolf Frohberger, 1831.
First edition of one of Carus’s pioneering works in the emerging science of psychology.
The author’s major contribution was in exploring the psychology of the unconscious and he is considered the precursor of Jung (who acknowleged his debt to Carus) in this field. The author was a prolific figure who wrote on many aspects of psychology, medicine and philosophy. He was an accomplished landscape artist in the Romantic tradition and had studied under Caspar David Friedrich. He was also a friend of Nietzsche, Humboldt and Goethe.
The Vorlesungen über Psychologie is especially notable for its wide frame of reference outside the discipline of medicine. Many of Carus’s examples are drawn from literature, with a special emphasis on the works of Shakespeare: in the course of his argument he refers variously to Hamlet, Macbeth, Henry IV, Romeo and Juliet and Othello.
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