Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Human Mind

Saw this book by Karl Menninger at the library, and picked it up. It is a psychology book from the thirties, which was updated over a few decades. I had hoped for insights about the workings of the mind, but this is really a "negative psychology" book, very much about psychological ailments and their causes. It is somewhat frightening to see the state of psychology in the early 20th century. Homsexuality is described as a "perversion of affection" in the "distorted emotion" section, and symptoms that describe Asperger's Syndrome are lumped under "schizoid personality." It has some good quotes, though. My favorite is Horace: Quae laedunt oculos festinas demere; si quid est animum, differs curandi tempus in annum. (If anything affects your eye, you hasten to have it removed; if anything affects your mind, you postpone the cure for a year.)

It continues to amaze me that so much of psychological literature is about "cures for problems" and so little is about how the mind actually works.

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