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Thacker, C.R. (1921). The Autonomic Functions and the Personality: By Dr. Edward J. Kempf. (Nervous and Mental Disease Monograph Series, 1920. Price $ 200.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:237-240.

(1921). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 2:237-240

The Autonomic Functions and the Personality: By Dr. Edward J. Kempf. (Nervous and Mental Disease Monograph Series, 1920. Price $ 200.)

Review by:
C. R.A. Thacker

We feel about this work that in England at any rate it will not get a fair hearing (or reading). This is due to the extremely unattractive and difficult style in which the book is written, and, as can be gathered from extracts made for other purposes below, it is a labour to wade through it and drag to light any contributions of value Dr. Kempf may have made.

The thesis of the book is to shew that "in higher organisms an affective system (autonomic) exists which created and uses the cerebrospinal or projicient system as a means to keep in contact with the environment in order that the autonomic apparatus may fulfil its biological career" and that "whenever the autonomic or affective sensorimotor apparatus is disturbed or forced into a state of unrest, either through the necessities of metabolism, or endogenous stimuli, it compels the projicient sensorimotor apparatus to so adjust the receptors in the environment as to acquire stimuli having the capacity to produce adequate postural adjustments in the autonomic apparatus. In this manner, only, the disturbance of function may be neutralised. The constant tendency of the autonomic apparatus is to so organise the projicient apparatus into a means as to acquire a maximum of affective gratification with a minimum expenditure of energy or effort."

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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