Mind Science

   

The Integrative Mind: The Witness and Ambiguity of Suffering

Authors: S.A. Orwin O'Dowd

Adolph Meyer's theme of the integrative function is placed in the context of Ribot on personality and Joseph Breuer on effort and the contrast of sthenic and asthenic ideation.. The kind of analysis pursued by Meyer is taken in this way back to the language of constitutional medicine, and specifically Berthold Stiller's asthenia, and Janet's related concept of psychical insufficiency. Conversion hysterias are placed as the metabolic face of the same syndrome group, with consciousness emerging as the interface between metabolism and environment. The pattern of psychopathology as a whole is analysed in terms of the tonic and phasic processes, as understood by A.R. Luria, following Pavlov and Vygosky. Their neurology is further reinterpreted in the light of Merleau-Ponty on the embodiment of significance in the gestalt. Integrative interactions arising show a contrast of harm-avoidance and reward-dependence, colouring habituation with motivational style. The disruption of learning is traced to confusion in the generic sense that merges with noise, whereby Meyer's insistence that mental disorder is a product of unfortunate circumstances is extended to the internal, physiological environment, consistent with the growth of both supportive therapies and detoxification and rehabilitation programs.

Comments: 22 pages.

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Submission history

[v1] 15 Oct 2011

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