Domesticating the "Animal Spirits"

Elizabeth Brownlow
Control Factor
Type of Care
 Scientific Revolution vs. Puritan
 “American” identity vs. English roots
1) Supernatural vs. Natural causation
2) Determinism vs. Free Will
3) Body vs. Mind
4) Punitive vs. Humane Treatment
 Puritan theology
 Sin brings illness
Cotton Mather (Spurgeon)
• Revivalist mentality
• God as deliverance from
Jonathan Edwards
Charles Finney
 Shift from family-based
care to institution-based
 Scientific Revolution
Pennsylvania Hospital (Anderson)
• Pennsylvania
• Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Rush Engraving
 God’s will vs. Free will
 The “idiot”:
 Religious use of the
1) Pure and innocent
2) Spiritually
from God’s kingdom
image of the mentally
 Faculty Psychology
 Self control of the
“Animal Spirits”
Benjamin Franklin
 Benjamin Rush’s
Medical Inquiries and
Observations on the
Diseases of the Mind
Madness in the
Medical Inquiries
and Observations
upon the diseases of
the mind, Title page
and p. 18 (John
Adams Library)
 Blood-related practices
- Bloodletting
- Purgative application
- Emetic usage
• Rush’s Inventions
Benjamin Rush’s
Tranquilizing Chair
(University of Pennsylvania)
The Gyrator (Bloom and Schaffer)
 Previously inhumane
 Humane intentions
treatments used
 Justification: No public
humiliation or social
 Public treatment still
subhuman as well
 Humane improvements
 Reflective of
Ambivalence in
American society
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