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Fischer, H.K. (1956). Psychosomatics: By Max Hamilton, M.D. New York: John Wiley & Son, Inc., 1955. 225 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 25:278-279.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:278-279

Psychosomatics: By Max Hamilton, M.D. New York: John Wiley & Son, Inc., 1955. 225 pp.

Review by:
H. Keith Fischer

The author is Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, at the University of Leeds School of Medicine in England. This book consists, for the most part, of a series of critical summaries of traditional experiments and theories which, the Foreword notes, must collectively lead to a radical readjustment in the theory of disease. The author is more concerned with selecting works from the psychosomatic literature which make a genuine contribution to knowledge than with favoring one school or another. He is also inclined to look favorably upon work which is statistically valid or subject to treatment by modern methods of statistical evaluation. This approach narrows his field of choice, but it is an effort to 'avoid vague generalizations of those who prefer to argue from the too particular to the too general'.

The introductory chapter of twelve pages sets the theoretical basis of the study and the definitions of psychosomatics. It traces scientific theory of disease from Pasteur to Darwin and then to Halliday, where it becomes psychobiology. Its extension to general medicine is called 'psychosomatic theory'. The author elaborates psychosomatics with some definitions and classifications by Alexander, Wolff, and Halliday.

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