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November 19, 1949

The Organism: A Holistic Approach to Biology Derived from Pathological Data in Man

JAMA. 1949;141(12):883. doi:10.1001/jama.1949.02910120071038

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This volume is primarily addressed to the student of biologic sciences who is familiar with the technicalities of problems centering around the attainment of an adequate understanding of total organismic behavior. The book is a translation of the German original with minor changes and a sharpening of the focus on fundamental problems and principles. The method of approach reverses previous attempts at understanding higher organisms by examination of lower organisms. Man is made the point of departure in this study. This approach is based on the stated questionable validity of the "concept of simplicity." The author states that often the so-called simpler biologic performances are found to be abstractions and that the so-called simple can be as obscure as the complex. Pathologic data rather than normal physiologic phenomena are interpreted.

Discussions include clarifications of reflex functioning, instinctual drives, the conscious and the unconscious and concepts of heredity and breeding. Chapters

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