We are not yet at the point in science where we can

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Unformatted text preview: ation. In fact, I believe that a little too much stress hag been laid on this aspect of mental disease and not enough on the fact that sickness may injure a family stock and cause the descendants to be insane. Any one who has seen a single case of congenital General Paresis, where a child has a mental disease due to the syphilis of a parent, and can doubt that character and mind are organic, simply is blinded by theological or metaphysical prejudice. [2] See his book "Genius." This means that in studying character and personality, we must start with an analysis of the physical make-up of the individual. We are not yet at the point in science where we can easily get at the activities of the endocrinal glands in normal mentality. We are able to recognize certain fundamental types, but more we cannot do; nor are we able to measure nervous energy except in relatively crude ways, but these crude ways CHAPTER II. 16 have great value under certain conditions. When there has been a change in personality, the question of bodily disease is always paramount. The first questions to be asked under such circumstances are, "Is this person sick?" "Is the brain involved?" "Are endocrinal glands involved?" "Is there disease of some organ of the body, acting to lower the feeling of well-being, acting to slacken the purposes and the will or to obscure the intelligence?" There are other important questions of this type to answer, some of which may be deferred for the time. Meanwhile, the next equally fundamental thesis is on the effect of the environment upon mind, character and personality. CHAPTER II. THE ENVIRONMENTAL BASIS OF CHARACTER From the time any one of us is born into the world he is subject to the influences of forces that reach backwards to the earliest days of the race. The "dead hand" rules,--yes, and the dead thought, belief and custom continue to shape the lives and character of the living. The invention and development of speech and writing have brought into every man's care...
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