July 1965

Psychiatric Implications of Information Theory

Author Affiliations


Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;13(1):87-94. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01730010089012

THE desire to comprehend both the living and the nonliving universe in a single conceptual framework exerts a powerful attraction. The animistic thinking of primitive peoples is well known. Even the rational ancient Greeks, such as Aristotle, seemed most comfortable in basing a general theory of physics upon the seemingly peculiar property of live animals to be able to move of themselves, conceptualizing the motions of apparently lifeless bodies on the model of the animal.1 For modern man, at least in his conscious rational science, the pendulum has swung in the other direction, with ever increasing successes in conceptualizing living systems according to the model of lifeless mechanistic physical processes. It may be possible to expand the framework to subsume not only the material aspects of biological systems, but even the psychological and subjective aspects. Those who fear the degradation of the subjective, conscious,

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