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February 24, 1951

Principles of General Psychopathology: An Interpretation of the Theoretical Foundations of Pyschopathological Concepts

JAMA. 1951;145(8):603-604. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920260071033

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In the first section of this book Fischer attempts to differentiate the "elements" of thought, memory, attention and emotion and to trace them directly to the physiology of perception and to Husserl's concept of "directedness." Various abnormalities in these processes are then described and meticulously classified, with rather more attention to minute shadings of terminology than to explanations of cause or diagnostic significance. The same methods of exposition are used in succeeding chapters on volition, intelligence, fantasy and language functions, except that here the classifications are somewhat more arbitrary and the dogmatic distinctions even more questionable. In part 2 Fischer emphasizes the role that "comprehension" and empathy must play in the investigation of the dynamics of human behavior, but he apparently still regards schizophrenic and organic psychosis as beyond such understanding. Fischer here also reverts to a number of obscure distinctions, such as those among object-orientations (Sachverhaltniss) and "drive-objects," and

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