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Jelliffe, S.E. (1923). Paleopsychology: A tentative sketch of the origin and evolution of symbolic function. Psychoanal. Rev., 10(2):121-139.

(1923). Psychoanalytic Review, 10(2):121-139

Original Articles

Paleopsychology: A tentative sketch of the origin and evolution of symbolic function

Smith Ely Jelliffe, M.D., Ph.D.

First Paper

I. Theoretical Considerations

The general energic hypothesis that man, as well as every other form of living matter, is a mechanism, or a system of mechanisms through which the capture, transformation, and release of energy takes place, is one that has come to be universally maintained.

The energy comes from the Cosmos. It is captured by means of specific energy receptors which are found throughout the entire body. These specialized portions of the body, external as well as internal, have come to be what they are through countless millions of years of adaptation. These receptors are numerous. It is a kindergarten type of physiology to speak of the five senses. Anatomical research has revealed a score or more specific energy receptors and is constantly describing the histological details of others as such methods advance and the concept of specific energy receptors becomes more widely applied. It is equally, we submit, an inadequate physiology that conceives of chemical food stuffs as the only or the chief energy captives that run the human body.

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