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November 1957

Jacksonism and the Works of Ribot

Author Affiliations

Paris Translated by Percival Bailey, M.D.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;78(5):505-515. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330410069011

One scarcely reads Ribot any more.f His simple little books, written in a language understandable by all, are reputedly obsolete. No one denies that the founder of French scientific psychology exercised a considerable influence in his time and his last pupils, Pierre Janet and George Dumas, have rendered just homage to his memory, but the recent schools of psychopathology seem to disesteem him or to ignore him. Nevertheless, in rereading his work uninterruptedly, it has seemed to me evident that many of our most modern conceptions are contained in it explicitly. Lately various physicians and psychologists have "exhumed," from the former writings of the English neurologist Jackson, the notion of "dissolution" of the nervous and mental functions. Now, I would show here that half a century ago Ribot himself was not only an authentic Jacksonian but a veritable precursor of the present neo-Jacksonism.

I. Ribot and Jackson  It is a

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