Dialogues in Philosophy
Mental and Neuro Sciences

Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences

The official journal of Crossing Dialogues
Volume 13, Issue 1 (June 2020)

A dynamic interplay between positive and negative factors in insanity. Levels of dissolution and mental symptoms
John Hughlings Jackson
This article presents parts of two writings explaining the role and the levels of dissolution in the pathogenesis of nervous and mental disorders. A strong influence comes from modern theories about evolution, particularly Spencer. The model was developed starting from nervous diseases (It is particularly famous Jackson’s study of epilepsy) but it had fruitful consequences also for psychiatric conditions. Here we focus more on the part on “insanities”, with Jackson important
ideas about the “constructive”, or “positive” component of mental symptoms. Positive parts of symptoms are due to the liberation of normal-functioning centers, due to lack of inhibition rather than direct dysfunctions. The disturbances of consciousness and their role in illusions and hallucinations is also sketched.
History of psychiatry, history of neurology, positive and negative symptoms, evolution theory
Dial Phil Ment Neuro Sci 2020; 13(1): 23-31