SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search




CHAPTER XXIII
ON CONDITIONAL REACTIONS OF HIGHER ORDERS AND PSYCHIATRY
In the dog two conditions were found to produce pathological disturbances by functional interference, namely, an unusually acute clashing of the excitatory and inhibitory processes, and the influence of strong and extraordinary stimuli. In man precisely similar conditions constitute the usual causes of nervous and psychic disturbances. (394)              I. p. pavlov
The fact that the maximum disturbance in the central nervous activity does not appear immediately on administration of the causative stimulus, but after one or more days has been observed in many animals. (394)
I. P. PAVLOV
Psychiatrists will readily understand the structurally false to facts and harmful implications of the term 'inhibition' on the neurological level, when they consider that often 'pain', 'fright', and different 'prohibitions' and 'inhibitions' on the psycho-logical level result in nervous processes which are not passive, eliminated factors, but remain what they were originally - exciting semantic factors 'repressed' on human levels - and become very active and potent causative factors in many 'mental' and physical ailments.
If the non-el point of view and language are seriously applied, there seems to be no escape from the conclusion that the future physician, on perfectly scientific, structural, physico-chemical, and colloidal grounds, will never attempt to divide the 'physical' from the 'mental', and different nervous processes now called 'inhibition' will come prominently to the fore as active, to be taken care of and never to be disregarded.
That the mechanism of conditional reactions in animals bears an astonishing resemblance to the mechanism of 'mental' ills in humans, because of the relative unconditionality of both, is exemplified practically throughout the whole work of Pavlov, although he did not point out this particular connection. As soon as this is understood, we shall find that some of the experiments of Doctor Zavadzki, made in Pavlov's laboratory twenty-five years ago, disclose a neurological mechanism which underlies practically all psychotherapy, and which, therefore, appears very important and to deserve special discussion.
I do not know the percentage of the successful application of psychotherapy of any scientific school, or of extra-medical cults, because the many cases of failure are very seldom recorded. We usually forget, or do not realize, that the successful cases teach us, structurally, less than the failures, because there is always an infinity of ways in which we can account for a positive result, which is structurally entirely invali-
358