"As the departments of science become more and more complex, definition is recognized as a scholastical task which makes for sterility." An epigram by Sir Clifford Allbutt, which like all such obiter dicta can only be half true. To define explicitly may be futile or impossible; to describe, to classify and to set boundary marks can be done with difficulty, maybe, but always with advantage to clarity of ideas.
The effort to define may fail in ultimate truth, but will show us often the scope of our endeavor and the nature of our objective.
The idea of epilepsy which came to us from Hughlings Jackson is that it consists in the occasional sudden excessive violent discharge of some nerve center, sensory or motor; to which it would seem useful to add that the phenomena produced are independent of volition and are accompanied by interference with the stream of consciousness. Events
KENNEDY F. EPILEPSY AND THE CONVULSIVE STATE. Arch NeurPsych. 1923;9(5):567–575. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1923.02190230022004
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