May 1960

Minimal Requirements for a Theory of Schizophrenia*

Author Affiliations

Palo Alto, Calif.
Principal Investigator of the Project for the Study of Schizophrenic Communication. The project is financed by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation and by the Foundations’ Fund for Research in Psychiatry. It is administered by the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University and the Palo Alto Medical Research Foundation. It functions at the Veterans Administration Hospital, Palo Alto, Calif.
Ethnologist, Veterans Administration Hospital.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(5):477-491. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590110001001

Every science, like every person, has a duty toward its neighbors, not perhaps to love them as itself, but still to lend them its tools, to borrow tools from them, and, generally, to keep the neighboring sciences straight. We may perhaps judge of the importance of an advance in any one science in terms of the changes which this advance compels the neighboring sciences to make in their methods and in their thinking. But always there is the rule of parsimony. The changes which we in the behavioral sciences may ask for in genetics, or in philosophy, or in information theory must always be minimal. The unity of science as a whole is achieved by this system of minimal demands imposed by each science upon its neighbors, and—not a little—by the lending of conceptual tools and patterns which occurs among the various sciences.

My purpose,

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