Pathetism
Term used to denote mesmerism or animal magnetism by
La Roy Sunderland (1804–1885), a minister and prominent
public advocate of the magnetist movement in America in the
middle of the nineteenth century. Sunderland is a contemporary
of James Braid, who is generally credited with secularizing
mesmerist practice as hypnotism.
In his book Pathetism (1843), Sunderland wrote
‘‘I use this term to signify, not only the AGENCY, by which
one person by manipulation, is enabled to produce emotion, feeling,
passion, or any physical or mental effects, in the system of
another but also that SUSCEPTIBILITY of emotion or feeling, of
any kind, from manipulation, in the subject operated upon, by
the use of which these effects are produced; as also the laws by
which this agency is governed. I mean it as a substitute for the
terms heretofore in use, in connection with this subject, and I
respectfully submit it to all concerned, whether this be not a far
better term for the thing signified, than either Magnetism or
Mesmerism.’’
Most magnetists had their own favorite term, such as ‘‘etherology’’
(J. Stanley Grimes), ‘‘neurology’’ (Joseph Rhodes
Buchanan), ‘‘electrobiology’’ (John Bovee Dods), or ‘‘electropsychology’’
(Dr. Fiske), but eventually the term ‘‘hypnotism,’’
devised by Braid, was generally adopted.
Sources
Sunderland, La Roy. Book of Human Nature. New York
Sterns, 1853.
———. Ideology. Boston J. P. Mendum, 1885–87.
———. Pathetism. New York P. P. Good, 1843.
———. Trance and Correlative Phenomena. Chicago J. Walker,
1868.