Advertisement

Abstract

The idea that perception or sensation may be localised in certain physical organs (e.g., skin) has a long tradition. It pervades many cultures. The system of sensory physiology (of which touch is one important element) is shaped by the influence of both medical thought and the philosophy of nature. Let us turn first to ancient Indian medicine or natural philosophy, as it appears in the Vedas. The Vedas are the most ancient Indian religious texts and consist for the most part of hymns, liturgical chants, sacrificial formulas and magic spells. The Rgveda, the oldest of the vedic texts, has not yet a verb for ‘touch’ or ‘feel’ and no expression for the corresponding sensation which — in a later text entitled Atharvaveda — is called sam-sparsa (feeling) [1]. In the Ayurveda, which forms an appendix to the Atharvaveda, the primeval matter (sattva) acts upon the fives senses of knowledge or buddhīndrīya (hearing, touch, sight, taste, smell — Fig. 1).

Keywords

Historical Approach Historical Aspect Greek Philosopher Skin Sensation Tactile Perception 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Selected readings

  1. Böhme H (n.d.) Der Tastsinn im Gefüge der Sinne. Anthropologische und historische Ansichten vorsprachlicher Aisthesis. www.culture.hu-berlin.de/ HB/texte/tasten/htmlGoogle Scholar
  2. Classen C (1993) Worlds of Sense. Exploring the senses in history and across cultures. Routledge, London, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Kalkmann HW (ed) (2005) La main dans la main. Ausstellungskatalog. Kunstverein Bad Salzdetfurth, Bad SalzdetfurthGoogle Scholar
  4. Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (ed) (1996) Tasten. Steidl, GöttingenGoogle Scholar
  5. Loenhoff J (2001) Die kommunikative Funktion der Sinne: theoretische Studien zum Verhältnis von Kommunikation, Wahrnehmung und Bewegung. UVK-Verl.-Ges., KonstanzGoogle Scholar
  6. Michler M (1999) Die Hand als Werkzeug des Arztes: eine kurze Geschichte der Palpation von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. Steiner, WiesbadenGoogle Scholar
  7. Wehr M, Weinmann M (ed) (1999) Die Hand: Werkzeug des Geistes. Spektrum Akad. Verl, Heidelberg, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  8. Switzer A, Cirincione D, Karle W (1977) Die Rolle des Körpers in der Feeling Therapy. In: HG Petzold (ed): Die neuen Körpertherapien. Junfermann, Paderborn, 376–387Google Scholar
  9. Wilson FR (2002) Die Hand — Geniestreich der Evolution: ihr Einfluss auf Gehirn, Sprache und Kultur des Menschen. Rowohlt-Taschenbuch-Verl., ReinbekGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Jütte
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Geschichte der Medizin der Robert Bosch StiftungStuttgartGermany

Personalised recommendations