SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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UN-SANITY VERSUS SANITY
523
Atrophy of the thyroid in the adult is usually followed by blunting of 'mental' capacity. Speech is slow, and cerebration delayed. If the secretions are lacking in childhood we have what is known as cretinism. Excessive activity of the thyroid produces a condition known as exophthalmic goitre. In many females at each menstruation the thyroid is perceptibly enlarged. Extirpation of the thyroid before puberty brings about, among others, signs of cretinism, failure of development of the ovaries., so that puberty is delayed partially or completely.18
Even these few particulars are sufficient to make us understand that when we begin to deal with 'infantilism', 'arrested development', or 'regression', or 'adulthood', we deal with fundamental non-el semantic life-problems which are connected structurally with the organism-as-a-whole. Bleuler describes disturbances of affectivity thus: 'The so-called psychopaths are really nearly all exclusively or mainly thymopaths. Furthermore, since affectivity dominates all other functions, it assumes a prominent role in psychopathology generally, even in slight deviations, not only on account of its own morbid manifestations, but even more because in disturbances in any sphere, it is the affective mechanisms that first create the manifest symptoms. What we call psychogenic is mostly thymogenic. The influence of the affects on the associations produces delusions, systematic splittings of personality, and hysteroid twilight states; repressed pain is the source of most neurotic symptoms, while displacements and irradiations produce compulsive ideas, obsessive acts, and similar mechanisms.'"
The thymus appears not only as a childhood gland, but the adult gonads begin to function when the thymus ceases to function. When the thymus persists, we often find arrested development and psycho-pathological disturbances connected with infantilism. It should be remembered that in the organism not all 'cause and effect' sequences appear as one-to-one, but mostly as many-to-one relations. Therefore, no standard mechanism can be readily assigned to a semantic disturbance. But there are enough structural, functional, and colloidal mechanisms known to account for most disturbances, although the precise working is not known, 1933, in most cases.
Psychopathology and experience show that the 'self-love', 'self-sufficiency'. , of infantilism are usually accompanied by marked sex disturbances, which, from a racial point of view, are just as important as the semantic disturbances.
Infantile types often have 'charming' qualities. The women 'are sweet', 'nice'; the men seem 'good mixers' and 'popular'. The opposite sex often likes these characteristics. In men a feeling of sympathy is