Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,087 words)

1. The concept

“Irritability,” from Latin irritabilis, irritabilitas (see also “sensibility” from Latin sensibilis, sensibilitas), is a medical description of the condition of the body with regard to its ability to respond to (external) sensory stimuli and to react to them. Abnormalities of irritability and sensibility were considered symptomatic of illness.

Around 1700, the Cartesian-mechanistic conception of life came in for increased criticism (Mechanism). …

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Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe, “Irritability”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 05 February 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_021520>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190124

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