Hippocrates and the four humors
In the ideal personality, the complementary characteristics were exquisitely balanced among warm-cool and dry-moist. Together, these fluids cool, moisten, nourish, lubricate, protect, and purify the organism.
Courtesy Folger Shakespeare Library. In Greek Medicine, digestion happens in four stages: The First Digestion happens in the gastrointestinal tract, and produces chyle; its waste product is the feces, or stool.
Thus, a certain type does not appear within this framework — the type of person who goes around making universal theories of everything that help them see patterns where others might not. A good balance between the four humours was essential to retain a healthy body and mind, as imbalance could result in disease. Relation of various four temperament theories Classical. Kant agreed with Galen that everyone could be sorted into one of the four temperaments and that there was no overlap between the four categories Eysenck, The four temperaments as depicted in an 18th-century woodcut: phlegmatic, choleric, sanguine and melancholic. When the humors are unbalanced, aggravated, or out of sorts, that is a condition called dyscrasia, or "bad mixture". All living things are held to arise from these four elements, mixed in different amounts and proportions. It involves the inference of a pattern based on scattered cues and prior learning. Bile has a hot, caustic nature and a Digestive virtue, or force, which gives it a strong affinity with the other digestive secretions of the middle GI tract. Yellow bile caused warm diseases and phlegm caused cold diseases. From its development in ancient Greece, it spread throughout classical Rome and the Islamic world Ullmann, ; Browne, ; Temkin, ; Harris, In this chapter, we will explore these various perspectives on personality in depth. This book classified the universe in terms of the elements, defined as the properties of the hot, cold, wet and dry, exemplified by fire, air, water and earth.
Health was associated with a balance of humors, or eucrasia. At around the same time, ancient Indian Ayurveda medicine had developed a theory of three humors, which they linked with the five Hindu elements. Excess of black bile was understood to cause depression, and inversely a decline of feeling or opinion cause the liver to produce blood contaminated with black bile.
Warm foods, for example, tended to produce yellow bile, while cold foods tended to produce phlegm.
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