A History of Epidemics in Britain: Volume 2

The University Press

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The University Press
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Dec 31, 1894
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"Has the word "memory" a real application to unconscious organic phenomena, or do we use it outside its ancient limits only in a figure of speech? On the answer to that question will depend whether the manner of representing certain familiar kinds of ill-health in the following chapters is merely an allegory or whether it is a new truth in pathology. The forms of disease with which I am concerned are chiefly the chronic. They include those catarrhs, fluxes, eruptions, and the like, that persist beyond their natural cycle or when the incitement is no longer there; various kinds of paroxysmal seizures which recur from time to time without obvious or sufficient provocation; functional errors of certain organs becoming neuroses by use and wont; habitual injurious elements in the diet and general manner of life leading to diathesis and inherited proclivity; together with various other degrees and kinds of inveterate structural and functional error which sum themselves up in infection. None of our faculties is more familiar to us in workings than the memory, and there is hardly any force or power in Nature which everyone knows so well as the force of habit. The reality of the memory-doctrine in disease appeals to us most directly when we come to treatment, of which I shall have a good deal to say by way of illustrating the proposition that alterative action is habit-breaking action. By way of discovering a basis in fact for the doctrine of unconscious memory and its applications to various forms of persistent, recurrent, diathetic, and infective sickness, I submit the following prolegomena on Memory and Organic Memory, promising the reader at the same time that these are all the metaphysical matters which I shall find it necessary to trouble him with"--Book. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
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