December 1965

Illness or Allness, Conversations of a Psychiatrist.

Author Affiliations

By John M. Dorsey. Price, $14. Pp 636. Wayne State University Press, 5980 Cass, Detroit, Mich 48202, 1965.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(6):949-951. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870060147030

This fascinating treatise by a university professor of Wayne State University is heartily recommended to physicians or anyone else for insights about psychiatry not likely to be garnered elsewhere. Cast in the form of a dialogue between the author and various persons including the patient, general practitioner, medical educator, medical student, research worker, sociologist, pediatrician, obstetrician, psychologist, chaplain, artist, philosopher, and poet, the thesis is as understandable to the layman as it is to the physician. Dorsey is cognizant of the fallacy built into communication by dialogue. He says (p 290), "To be able to ask a question correctly, is not merely already to know half, rather it implies that the questioner unconsciously has all the knowledge of the answer." Plato furnished the classical illustration of this proposition millenia ago.

The thesis briefly stated is that each creates (or recreates) within himself all that he sees or understands, and in

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