Scientific Serials

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    Mental Science Journals, January, April, July.—The January number opens with an article by Samuel Wilks, M.D., “The Study of the Human Mind from a Physiological View.” Dr. Wilks finds no more difficulty as regards the relation of the mind and brain than in “the association of other functions with their respective organs.” The main purpose of the writer seems to be to show that men are very much of automata. In this he thinks he has followed Dr. Huxley, who however, if he meant anything, meant that men are a ltogether automata. The illustrations of the automatism of doctors must be alarming to the nervous and ailing. Example: “Up to the present time I have never seen a single case of leucocythaemia of the lympathic glands, or the spleen, or simple idiopathic anaemia, without the patient's having been saturated by iodine, quinine, and iron; but no case is yet recorded of these remedies having done the slightest good.”—David Nicholson, M.B., continues his “Morbid Psychology of Criminals,” and shows his vigorous common sense in refusing to see that suicide is always an insane act, or that there is any “madness in an idle-minded fellow preferring to live ‘like a gentleman’ by helping himself directly from moneyed pockets, instead of sweating his life out with a pick and shovel at fourteen shillings a week.”—This number contains an interesting paper on the Hallucinations of Mahomet and others, by W. W. Ireland, M.D.—In the April number we find the Morisonian lectures on Insanity for 1873, this time written entirely by Dr. Clouston; the Morbid Psychology of Criminals continues; an article on the Family Care of the Insane in Scotland, by Prof. Friedrich Jolly, of Strasburg, is valuable, inasmuch as it helps us “to see ourselves as others see us,” and pleasing, as this time we may look and be not ashamed. “This visit,” says Prof. Jolly, “and the information furnished by these gentlemen, as well as a more careful study of the Scottish Reports and their appendices, convinced me that it is no ‘Gheel in the North’ with which we have to do, but an organisation which rests on a quite different and much sounder basis.”—George Shearer, M.D., communicates notes to show that “Diseases of the general nervous system are by no means infrequent amongst the Chinese, but cases of alienation of mind are comparatively few.”—Mr. E. Thompson continues and concludes his paper on the Physiology of General Paralysis of the Insane and of Epilepsy. The worst things in the paper are a few unseemly remarks directed against Dr. Hughlings Jackson.—The July number opens with a Chapter on some Organic Laws of Personal and Ancestral Memory, by J. Laycock, M.D.—The Morisonian lectures on Insanity are continued from the previous number.—David Nicholson M.B., furnishes his excellent articles on the Morbid Psychology of Criminals, which we have always read with much pleasure.—S. Messenger, F.R.C.S., writes under the title, “Moral Responsibility,” to show that we all are what we are because, given our parents and our circumstances, we could not have been otherwise. The moral of “this theory of no-moral of responsibility” is very good, “we should be more generally charitable in our judgments, more universal in our forbearance.” It is a pity that the men who are continually claiming to be the only scientific men cannot reach such simple conclusions without outraging language and common sense in order to show, by the way, that they are not metaphysicians. Mr. Messenger describes the manufacture of thought as similar to the manufacture of gastric juice—the action of the brain is like “that of the stomach, whose peptic glands secrete the gastric juice from the circulating blood, but need the stimulus of food to excite the process.” It would be a great advantage to the scientific men of this stamp if they would try “the means of observation which metaphysicians employ,” or any other that might help them to see that intelligence is not a juice.

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    Scientific Serials . Nature 12, 282–283 (1875). https://doi.org/10.1038/012282a0

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