How did Robert Burton apply scientific methods to his own mind?
Medicine and Philosophy
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Robert Burton (1577–1640) spent most of his life at Oxford University, where he was vicar of St. Thomas Church. He was later appointed rector of Segrave, Leicester. He was a mathematician with interests in astrology and was known to be companionable and cheerful. However, he suffered all his life from “a heavy heart and hatchling in my head, a kind of imposthume in my head, which I was very desirous to be unladen of.” In the preface to The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) he explained the work as therapeutic: “I write of melancholy, by being busy to avoid melancholy. There is no greater cause of melancholy than idleness, no better cure than business.”