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The Organic-Functional Controversy

  • Theodore Nadelson
Part of the Women in Context: Development and Stresses book series (WICO)

Abstract

The view that mind and body coexist separately was as old as written history and had gone through many shifts before the dichotomy was codified by René Descartes in the seventeenth century. Dualism, or the view that there is mind and there is body, has been called untenable by many philosophers of science.1,2,3,4,5 They argue for a holistic or monistic perspective, maintaining that all phenomena described as either mind or body are one in the same. Despite the lack of strict scientific authenticity, the postion held by most of us is that mind and body exit as separate entites and that these two forces act “on” us and interact within us analogy might lead to more clarity: When seeing a painting, the perspective of the art lover is different from that of a pigment chemist. They both view the same phenomenon evolving out of the materials that give color to the canvas, but the picture, as painted, is to be understood by its own values and rules. For the chemist (who may have little aesthetic concern), the value of the painting resides in the composition of the paint in terms of amounts of cobalt, zinc, lead, titanium, cadmium, etc. The art lover (probably unaware of chemistry) sees the totality of the painting as residing only within the viewer’s experience. Neither of these extremes alone encompasses all of reality.

Keywords

Psychosomatic Medicine Sexual Prejudice Psychosomatic Disorder Functional Diagnosis Psychosomatic Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodore Nadelson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryTufts University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  2. 2.Boston Veterans Administration Medical CenterBostonUSA

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