Scientific article

Pain as practice in Paolo Mantegazza's Science of Emotions

Published inOsiris, vol. 31, no. 1, no. History of Science and the Emotions, Edited by Otniel E. Dror, Bettina Hitzer, Anja Laukotter, and Pilar Leon-Sanz (eds.), p. 137-162
Publication date2016

Paolo Mantegazza's science of emotions represents the dominant style of thinking that was fostered by the late nineteenth-century Italian scientific community, a pos- itivist school that believed that the dissemination of Darwin's evolutionary ideas would promote social progress in that country. Within this collective thought, Mantegazza was committed not only to studying the physiological experience of pain by means of vivisection but also to completing an anthropological study that examined the differ- ences between the expressions of suffering in primitive and civilized cultures. Thus, the meaning of pain appears throughout Mantegazza's research as a result of applying an ensemble of scientific practices integral to observation, experimentation, and the scien- tific self, which enabled its main physiological and psychological manifestations to be reproduced in the laboratory. Among these practices, photography allowed Mantegazza to mobilize pain as an emotion whose performativity shaped national identities, such as those that embodied the recently created Italian state.

  • History of medicine
  • history of emotions
  • pain as practice
Citation (ISO format)
MARTIN MORUNO, Dolorès. Pain as practice in Paolo Mantegazza’s Science of Emotions. In: Osiris, 2016, vol. 31, n° 1, p. 137–162.
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
  • PID : unige:87934
ISSN of the journal0369-7827

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