Tribute to the Memory of Sir Victor Horsley

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    SIR VICTOR HOBSLEY was far from being merely a great surgeon. His death while still in the full plenitude of his powers deprived the world of a remarkable personality which expressed itself effectively in many fields, and his old friend and fellow-worker, Mr. C. J. Bond, has done well to place on record personal notes (“Recollections of Student Life and Later Days”. 1939. H. K. Lewis and Co. Pp. 48) of an association lasting forty years. Neuro-psychical phenomena held an irresistible attraction for both men, and in elucidating Horsley's share in some of their conjoint work, Mr. Bond outlines some of the conclusions to which he was led by these and other independent researches the scope of which is indicated by his query: How has it come about that the neural machinery exists for the carrying out of neuro-psychical activities in a dual manner while on the psychical side the more highly organized, later evolved responses are perceived and executed by a unified consciousness and a single will ? Of Horsley's activities in the political and sociological sphere he observes, “He clearly realized that what the world sorely needs is a deeper and wider recognition of the fact that selfishness and the aggressive spirit, although they no doubt had some survival value among primitive peoples and savage tribes, yet under modern conditions of so-called civilization they act as brakes on the wheels of human progress”.

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    Tribute to the Memory of Sir Victor Horsley. Nature 143, 934–935 (1939) doi:10.1038/143934c0

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