Article ID: CBB986594562

A Feminist Physiology: B. J. Feijoo (1676–1764) and His Advice for Those in Love (2021)


This essay analyzes how the Benedictine monk Benito Jerónimo Feijoo (1676–1764), one of the most popular Spanish natural philosophers in Europe and America, discussed amorous attraction. In an attempt to reconcile Catholic dogma with empirical knowledge, Feijoo explained the origin of love as the result of wave-like interactions between sensual stimulus, imagination, nerve fibers, and the heart. His physiological model considered men and women to be equal in their internal constituents, which had important consequences for a possible science of matching. First, a possible match could only be known by a physical encounter; second, love bonds could be controlled by training the imagination; third, a harmonious society with happy marriages required accepting the intellectual equality of the sexes. The essay suggests how our knowledge about the nature of emotions influences the way we imagine an ideal society, as it is ultimately about the forces that attract and separate people, as well as the mechanisms to control them.

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Article Hansun Hsiung; Elena Serrano (2021) Introduction: Epistemologies of the Match. Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 760-765). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Hsiung, Hansun
Rivest, Justin
Novi Chavarria, Elisa
Rothmüller, Barbara
Julia Reed
Wolfe, Charles T.
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
History of Education
Historical Journal
University of Chicago Press
Oxford University Press
Medicine and religion
Roman Catholicism
Emotions; passions
Medicine and society
Dating; romantic relationships
Hecquet, Philippe
Fourier, François Marie Charles
Feijóo y Montenegro, Benito Jerónimo
Cudworth, Ralph
Time Periods
18th century
17th century
19th century
16th century
Early modern
Brittany (France)

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