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Tip: To use Pocket to save bookmarks to PEP-Web articles…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

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Winton, F.R. (1932). The Physical Mechanism of the Human Mind: By A. C. Douglas, M.B., Ch.B. (E. & S. Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1932. Pp. xiv and 251. Price 15 s.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 13:487-488.

(1932). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 13:487-488

The Physical Mechanism of the Human Mind: By A. C. Douglas, M.B., Ch.B. (E. & S. Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1932. Pp. xiv and 251. Price 15 s.

Review by:
F. R. Winton

'By taking full advantage of the latest advances in physiological knowledge the gaps left by Associationism may be filled, the criticism and requirements of Gestaltism may be met, and a complete scientific theory of mind may be presented upon the materialist basis which Behaviourism rightly demands'. Such, and no less, is the claim made by the author, a surgeon, for his work, and throughout the book he appears confident that he has achieved a final interpretation of all mental phenomena in physiological terms.

The early chapters include selections from orthodox physiology of the nervous system, well written and illustrated, but not brought into relation with his main thesis. Among these, Lapicque's theory of isochronism is given prominence, though it was never widely believed and is now disproved. This theory, which claimed that motor nerves and the muscles they innervate have the same time-relations or 'chronaxies', is extrapolated by the author to apply to nerve circuits in the central nervous system.

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