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1987 - Volume 8, Number 3, Summer

Emerging Views of Health: A Challenge to Rationalist Doctrines of Medical Thought
William J. Lyddon, University of California, Santa Barbara
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer 1987, Vol. 8, No. 3, Pages 365-394, ISSN 0271-0137
The purpose of the present paper is to provide an historical and metatheoretical context for evaluating current views of health and disease as encompassed by the field of behavioral medicine. Toward this end, the antithetical relationship between Rationalist and Empirical traditions of medical thought is chronicled with particular emphasis upon its most recent historical expression in allopathic and homeopathic approaches to healing. A brief historical sketch of the development of the field of behavioral medicine is offered followed by a description of its recent differentiation into “behavioral” and “biopsychosocial” camps. From this analysis, the basic ideas advanced in the final portion of this paper reveal that behavioral and biopsychosocial formulations may be contrasted along metatheoretical lines (i.e., mechanistic and systemic “world views,” respectively) and that this conceptual bifurcation may well represent yet another expression of the age-old Rationalist-Empirical dichotomy. While behavioral models appear to be most closely aligned with the interventionist ideology of the Rationalist doctrines of medical thought, emergent biopsychosocial formulations clearly indicate a trend toward an holistic, Empirical philosophy of health and diasease.

Requests for reprints should be sent to William J. Lyddon, Counseling Psychology Program, Department of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106.

Information, Communication and Organisation: A Post-Structural Revision
Robert Cooper, University of Lancaster, England
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer 1987, Vol. 8, No. 3, Pages 395-416, ISSN 0271-0137
The concepts of information and communication are analysed in terms of “difference.” The essence of difference is self-interference, a process in which terms contain their opposites and thus defy any singular grasp of their meanings. To illustrate this way of looking at difference, concepts from psychoanalysis, the logic of infinite sets, language, etc., are discussed. Social organisation is fundamentally motivated by the need to suppress the self-interference intrinsic to difference and it does this through the creation of social objects/objectives. The specific function of the object/objective is to banish self-interference by separating its self-referential duality. This characterises a basic principke of human action: the principle of least effort. The function of modern organization is the objectification of least effort in a codified order of information/knowledge which is designed to exclude self-interference from organised social systems. But since “organisation” and “object” are also information-based structures, they too are subject to self-interference. This means that the object/objective is compelled to repeat that which it suppresses and so creates a process in which intentional actions produce unintended as well as intended consequences.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Robert Cooper, Ph.D., Department of Behavior in Organizations, University of Lancaster, Gillow House, Bailrig, Lancaster LA1 4YX, England.

How Thoughts Affect the Body: A Metatheoretical Framework
Irving Kirsch, University of Connecticut and Michael E. Hyland, Plymouth Polytechnic
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer 1987, Vol. 8, No. 3, Pages 417-434, ISSN 0271-0137
The rise of cognitive psychology has heralded a revival of interest in the mind-body problem. As a heuristic, Hyland (1985) suggested that mind terms and body terms be thought of as complementary descriptions of the same event. Complementarism precludes causal relations between mental and physiological events, and instead posits identity relations between these two types of variables. Independently, Kirsch (1985) proposed that for all causal sequences linking one mind state to another, there is a corresponding causal sequence of physiological states. Rather than being mind-body philosophies, complementary and causal isomorphism are shown to be logical consequences of virtually all monist philosophies, including those that are currently most prominent. Their heuristic value is demonstrated with respect to empirical questions about psychophysiological phenomena. Complementary and causal isomorphism are also used to reconceptualize situational and behavioral variables as causes and consequences of cognitions.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Irving Kirsch, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, U-20, Room 107, University of Connecticut, 406 Cross Campus Road, Storrs, Connecticut 06268.

Consciousness and Commissurotomy: I. Spheres and Streams of Consciousness
Thomas Natsoulas, University of California, Davis
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer 1987, Vol. 8, No. 3, Pages 435-468, ISSN 0271-0137
This begins a series of articles whose purpose it is to review and to analyze all that is known or held about the consciousness of commissurotomized people. The study of these people is an unusual area of contemporary scientific research because questions loom large therein concerning their consciousness. Psychologists of consciousness may hope to improve their understanding of the general topic through detailed and careful attention to the forms that consciousness takes in commissurotomized people – who possess, some researchers argue, two simultaneously flowing streams of consciousness! In the first installment of the series, most of the discussion centers on the difference between spheres and streams of consciousness in the explanation of behavior produced after the cerebral hemispheres have been deconnected from each other. Also receiving particular attention are certain agnostic and skeptical positions that question how disunified consciousness actually is in the commissurotomized or that deny consciousness to the mute hemisphere.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Thomas Natsoulas, Ph.D., Psychology Department, University of California, Davis, California 95616.

Book Reviews

Dream Life, Wake Life: The Human Condition Through Dreams
Book Author: Gordon G. Globus. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987
Reviewed by Robert E, Haskell, University of New England
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer 1987, Vol. 8, No. 3, Pages 469-472, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] When I received this volume for review and opened it to the contents page, my initial reaction was that of irritation at the thought of having to read a volume with a Chapter Five titled “The Dream as Oracle” and Chapter Six “Dreaming as Dasein.” Both my philosophical bias and my cognitive style felt put-upon at the very anticipation of reviewing another nonmethodological book on interpreting dream messages; worse yet, another existential-philosophical work which promised to be either too specialized; or a semi-popular new age exposition of existential despair over the restricted horizons of the scientific investigation of dreaming-what Abraham Maslow in another context called high I.Q. whimpering – that I clenched my jaw and continued to read the remaining chapter headings: Chapter One on “The Creativity of Dreaming;” Chapter Two on “Dream Phenomenology;” Chapter Three on “Waking and Dreaming;” and to my unabashed delight, Chapter Four on “The Cognitive Approach to Dreaming” which based on the volume’s sweeping subtitle, “The Human Condition through Dreams,” I fully well expected to be lacking in its own horizon. I read the slim 179 pages of text. Then I read the volume again.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Robert E. Haskell, Ph.D., University of New England, 11 Hills Beach Road, Biddeford, Maine 04005.

Risk Acceptability According to the Social Sciences [Social Research Perspectives, Occasional Reports on Current Topics, No. 11.]
Book Author: Mary Douglas. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1986
Reviewed by Barry J. Martin, University of Toronto
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer 1987, Vol. 8, No. 3, Pages 473-474, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] This book acts as a promising review of the literature on social influences on risk perception, suggesting that most research views risk perception as an individual, and not a social, phenomenon. (Do developmental changes in perception regarding risk danger and evil necessarily always begin with the individual rather than the collective?) In the tradition of Durkheim and Mauss, Douglas focuses on social factors and the neglect of culture.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Barry J. Martin, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, Erindale College, University of Toronto, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 1C6.

Profiles of Social Research: The Scientific Study of Human Interactions
Book Author: Morton Hunt. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1986
Reviewed by Barry J. Martin, University of Toronto
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer 1987, Vol. 8, No. 3, Pages 475-476, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] This book attempts to depict, for those with no special knowledge of the social sciences, something of what social research is; to let them see it being done; and to suggest some of the values it may have for their lives.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Barry J. Martin, Ph.D., Department og Anthropology, Erindale College, University of Toronto, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 1C6.

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