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Diverse minds in early medieval England

Diverse minds in early medieval England
Diverse minds in early medieval England
In this thesis, descriptions of minds in primary sources are explored in order to come to a better understanding of the range of concepts of minds and their functioning existed in the early medieval period (600-1100) in England. This research project responds critically to scholarship on early medieval minds that centralises a standard or ideal model of the mind, influenced by modern medical concepts and philosophical traditions, but that tends to exclude descriptions of minds in the primary sources that conflict with this idea of the mind. The diversity of concepts in texts from early medieval England suggests that conventional models of the early medieval mind should be re-examined, nuanced and enlarged. The primary literature encompasses a wide range of descriptions of minds that are not easily categorised in terms of health or normality, but which instead depict minds as diverse, changing and contingent on physical and emotional state, stage in life, and so on. Furthermore, early medieval concepts of mind appear to include minds and cognitive processes that extend or travel outside the human body, that are non-human in origin, and that continue to exist after death. Recognising such descriptions as part of early medieval ideas about minds transforms our comprehension of historical perspectives on minds and mental activity, with further implications for a wide range of fields of study, such as research into relics or objects. By engaging both with modern models and paradigms, as well as bringing together a wide range of primary material, this thesis opens a discussion about early medieval minds that goes beyond normality and dysfunction to acknowledge variety, diversity and difference.
University of Southampton
Veldhuizen, Maria, Elisabeth
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Veldhuizen, Maria, Elisabeth
36519b79-cd6f-47c0-9f1d-1e8feeebe6af
O'Doherty, Marianne
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Richardson, Anthony J
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May, William
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Veldhuizen, Maria, Elisabeth (2021) Diverse minds in early medieval England. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 205pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

In this thesis, descriptions of minds in primary sources are explored in order to come to a better understanding of the range of concepts of minds and their functioning existed in the early medieval period (600-1100) in England. This research project responds critically to scholarship on early medieval minds that centralises a standard or ideal model of the mind, influenced by modern medical concepts and philosophical traditions, but that tends to exclude descriptions of minds in the primary sources that conflict with this idea of the mind. The diversity of concepts in texts from early medieval England suggests that conventional models of the early medieval mind should be re-examined, nuanced and enlarged. The primary literature encompasses a wide range of descriptions of minds that are not easily categorised in terms of health or normality, but which instead depict minds as diverse, changing and contingent on physical and emotional state, stage in life, and so on. Furthermore, early medieval concepts of mind appear to include minds and cognitive processes that extend or travel outside the human body, that are non-human in origin, and that continue to exist after death. Recognising such descriptions as part of early medieval ideas about minds transforms our comprehension of historical perspectives on minds and mental activity, with further implications for a wide range of fields of study, such as research into relics or objects. By engaging both with modern models and paradigms, as well as bringing together a wide range of primary material, this thesis opens a discussion about early medieval minds that goes beyond normality and dysfunction to acknowledge variety, diversity and difference.

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M.Veldhuizen.PhD.Thesis - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only until 22 April 2024.
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
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M_Veldhuizen_Permission to deposit thesis_ Signed
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.

More information

Submitted date: October 2021

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 467508
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/467508
PURE UUID: 8ac29db0-f75a-453e-8566-588cc4580c2e

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Date deposited: 12 Jul 2022 16:33
Last modified: 16 Mar 2024 18:02

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Contributors

Author: Maria, Elisabeth Veldhuizen
Thesis advisor: Marianne O'Doherty
Thesis advisor: Anthony J Richardson
Thesis advisor: William May

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