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Payne, S.M. (1963). The Nonhuman Environment in Normal Development and in Schizophrenia.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 44:236-238.

(1963). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 44:236-238

The Nonhuman Environment in Normal Development and in Schizophrenia.

Review by:
Sylvia M. Payne


By Harold F. Searles. (New York: Int. Univ. Press, 1960. Pp. 446. $7.50.)

In this book Dr Searles discusses the part that the non-human environment plays in the development of the human mind. In the last chapter he reveals his motive for writing on a subject which can involve many different forms of scientific approach to the understanding of the relation between man and his environment. His reason is that as a result of his analytical work on normal and abnormal patients, he holds the view that man has an unconscious, and in some cases conscious, relationship to the non-human environment which is apart from his interpersonal relations.

It can be seen that the hypothesis has immense significance if correct in the sense in which Searles puts it forward. He sees a prospect of finding links between different forms of scientific physical research and such disciplines as anthropology, academic psychology, epidemiology, and psychiatry, if the truth of his hypothesis is accepted and studied. Basically I can see that an important branch of such research would be the study of the direction in which evolution is moving, and also the problem of the relationship between man's physical and mental processes.

In his introductory chapter he writes of primitive man's relatedness to his environment, which was dominated by animism and lack of differentiation from the environment. He contrasts this primitive attitude with that of the psycho-analyst who focuses attention on intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships.

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