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Cervantes and the Cognitive Ideas of His time: Mind and Development in Don Quixote
Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America (2012)
  • Isabel Jaén Portillo, Portland State University
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN CERVANTES and Renaissance medical philosophy has been explored by both humanists and scientists, often focusing on Don Quixote and Juan Huarte de San Juan. Many of these studies trace humoral imbalance and its effects (melancholy, madness) on the famous knight-errant and other characters of the novel or look for Huarte's footprints in Cervantes's work. (1) There is indeed little doubt that Cervantes was well acquainted with the ideas about the mind that circulated in early modern Spain and, as Lopez-Munoz, Alamo, and Garcia-Garcia put it, "was also familiar with several medical treatises concerning the neurosciences, which were very much in vogue in Spain in the late Renaissance period" (501). I argue that Cervantes was not only interested in the cognitive science of his time from the point of view of humoral theory and illness, but that he was also concerned with developmental psychology--mind development--in the context of early modern notions of human nature and the human soul.
  • Spanish Literature,
  • Cervantes
Publication Date
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Copyright (2012) Cervantes Society of America
Citation Information
Jaén, I. (2012). Cervantes and the cognitive ideas of his time: mind and development in Don Quixote. Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America, 32(1), 71-101.