As was the case with the study of political economy, the modern disciplines of psychiatry and psychology were in the process of being constituted during the period covered in this anthology (the term ‘psychiatry’; was coined in 1808 by the German doctor Johann Geil). Under the rubric of a new ‘science of mind’;, these disciplines developed out of the enquiry into the relationship between thought and sense perception by philosophers like John Locke (1632–1704) and David Hume (1711–76), whose Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748) called for a ‘mental geography, or delineation of the distinct parts and powers of the mind’; (I, viii). The discourse on the sublime was an important early component of this new ’geography’; since the developing study of sublime effect was, in essence, the study of the interaction between the mind and the sublime object, or phenomenon. As the eighteenth century progresses, however, the relationship between the discourse on the sublime and the science of mind becomes more complex and multifaceted as writers across a range of genres and disciplines routinely use the tropes of the sublime to represent the ‘parts and powers’; of the mind, to borrow Hume’;s phrase. Hence, not only does the discourse on the sublime become part of the terminology of the new science of mind, but that science, in turn, contributes to the discourse on the sublime by generating a new model of the mind as sublime spectacle.
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