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April 27, 1912

Conduct and Its Disorders Biologically Considered.

JAMA. 1912;LVIII(17):1303. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260040319035

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According to the author—and we have no grounds for disputing his statement—this book is the first to work this field. Although of the making of books there is no end, and although conduct is what every man from Adam down has been engaged in from birth to death, still Mercier says, "there is not in existence, curiously enough, any comprehensive study of conduct as a whole." Although many departments of conduct are described in various books, none covers the general field of human activity. Mercier's treatment of the subject is comprehensive; from the analysis of the spider's actions—part instinctive and predetermined and part circumstantial and variable—up to the most complex web of emotions controlling man's most involved activities, the reader follows Mercier up a flight of steps, from various points of which he may calmly survey and dissect all the events of human history. Along this path he finds new

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