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Osler, G.F. (1966). The Changing Image of Human Nature: The Biological Aspect. Am. J. Psychoanal., 26:130-138.

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(1966). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 26(2):130-138

The Changing Image of Human Nature: The Biological Aspect

Geoffrey F. Osler, M.D.

As i formulate ideas and communicate them to you, one of the most baffling problems of our time is being expressed. My mind has conjured a constellation of concepts which are then somehow translated into activity in my brain and this enables me to express them in verbal symbols to you. The communication is picked up by your auditory apparatus, relayed to your brain, perceived and evaluated there and then, again in some unknown way, translated to your mind to be thought over and experienced. How this transfer from mind to brain and from brain back to mind comes about is not known.

Inability to comprehend the essence of mind has been a major obstacle to the progress of philosophy throughout its history.1 In the past the psycho-physical problems of mankind have had to be handled with the “black box” of the brain virtually closed. It has been upon the accurate and imaginative observations of neurologically and psychiatrically sick adults that the great “systems” thinkers have painstakingly developed their theoretical constructs of psychodynamics. For the most part these theories have now been refined to the point that further elaboration tends but to produce a pallid abstraction of the lusty original and to add little of interest to the tough-minded scientist.

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