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Changing our mind: how the 1790s shaped the modern psyche

16 November 2017 | by Sylvana Tomaselli

 

Grappling with the nature of the modern mind – or that of any epochal mind – is no simple matter. What, one might ask, is to count as “modern” or the “mind”? Rachel Hewitt uses “mind” as “shorthand for ‘emotional landscape’”, which allows her to include the cultural forces that construct the temperament of individuals.

She argues that the 1790s forged the ­modern psyche, for beyond its political ­turbulence the decade witnessed a decisive change in “feelings about feeling”. 





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