Bernard Mandeville on hypochondria and self-liking
Keywords:Mandeville, hypochondria, melancholy, talking cure, self-liking, desire to be esteemed
This article analyses how Mandeville's Treatise of the hypochodriack and hysterick passions (1711) was received in the medical environment, and I show that this work, in spite of being unusual and of a satirical nature, was seriously read and studied by eighteenth-century physicians. In the second part I will describe hypochondria as it is intended in the Treatise, with particular attention to talking therapy. In the third part I will show that in the Fable of the bees and in the Enquiry into the origin of honour hypochondria is associated with a frustration of the desire to be esteemed, and that in light of the theory of self-liking expressed in the Fable, it is possible to account for talking therapy’s effectiveness as theorised in the Treatise.