Category Archives: Humanities

Was Carl Jung Influenced by Hegel?

A Short Video Biography of Hegel

A Short Video Biography of Carl Jung

Carl Jung was a Swish Psychiatrist who studied Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic techniques and subsequently developed his own school of Analytic Psychology. Jung found his inspiration in many diverse areas. However some of the concepts Jung espoused echoed those proposed in a simpler form by Hegel. I have provided a short video biography of Carl Jung and Georg Hegel which the interested reader can use as a starting point for further exploration of this area. To understand Hegel and Jung we need to delve back a little further in history.

Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher who lived in the eighteenth century. One of his most important works was ‘A Critique of Pure Reason‘. Essentially he challenged the benefits of using reasoning alone and instead championed the use of reasoning and experience together – synthetic reasoning. A counter movement against Kant’s ideas emerged – the school of German Idealism. In his works Kant had suggested that ‘unsolvable contradictions’ occurred in several specific areas. Hegel extended this concept by suggesting that contradictions occurred in all ideas. Hegel wrote about other important concepts such as the importance of historical reality and others in consciousness.

Hegel’s concept of speculation in the form of the dialectical describes the process in which the concrete or absolute must pass through a negative phase. Some people have interpreted this to mean that negative and positive elements are considered in the journey to the synthesis of the absolute (This is not quite the same as thesis + antithesis = synthesis which is considered to be a summary of work by other philosophers including Kant although there is similarity).

Turning to Jung, one obvious correlation is the concept of the shadow. Jung suggested that a person is the sum of their conscious selves and an unconsciousness which included the shadow. Through the process of individuation, through their life a person would learn to integrate these two parts – to become whole.

Jung’s concept of the Shadow

However there are other similarities. Jung and Hegel both concerned themselves with an exploration of what they considered the spirit. Perhaps Jung was the psychological manifestation of the school of German Idealism – a reaction against Kant’s ‘A Critique of Pure Reason’ over a century beforehand.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

World Alzheimer’s Day – September 21st 2012 and World Alzheimer’s Month – September

September 21st 2012 is World Alzheimer’s Day. Here are some of the links in the media

There is a press release here detailing several events taking place to mark World Alzheimer’s Day

Donate your Facebook timeline to World Alzheimer’s Day – Find out more here

Singer/Songwriter Joseph Portelli has donated proceeds from his song How the Times Have Changed to support Alzheimer’s Disease International

 

General Information About World Alzheimer’s Day

Alzheimer’s Society Page

Centre for Disease Prevention and Control Page on World Alzheimer’s Day

Alzinfo.org Page

Articles About World Alzheimer’s Month

On this page Alzheimer’s Org refers to September 21st as Alzheimer’s Action Day and September as World Alzheimer’s Month

Alzheimer’s Disease International is also supporting September as World Alzheimer’s Month

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Neuroscientists Turn Research Paper Into Music Video: Is This A New Impact Factor For Scientists?

Synaptaesthesia

The Smith Lab is a Neuroscience lab at Stanford University named after Professor Stephen J Smith. The lab have developed a technique known as Array Tomography. This involves preserving tissue samples, creating ultrathin slices which are then imaged and integrated into a computer generated 3-dimensional representation of the original tissue. The researchers have turned one of the papers into a music video on YouTube. The video is shown above and illustrates the incredible complexity of the mouse cortex but in a way that is aesthetically appealing.

They say that a picture speaks a thousand words but how much true is this of  a video? When the message is communicated so effectively then complementing it with the right music has the potential to create a scientific icon – scientific knowledge embedded in the multimedia fabric of culture. Unwrap one layer of material and there is a jewel of timeless knowledge contained within. Imagine the scientist toiling away in the laboratory for decades. The findings are important but subtle and difficult to communicate to anyone but the specialised community through the medium of the more esoteric academic publications.

What if that scientist had collated analyses from lots of data over that time? The essence of their results could be distilled into a few selected diagrams or videos of their experiments. Time lapse photography or images from specialised equipment would enable them to capture the fascination of the public and to share with them their joy in the research. Now imagine if the university campuses full of students forming their own bands and writing their own music fostered an environment where that talent and energy could be directed towards communicating the research the students themselves engage in.

Now take it a step further. What if there was a ready made funding stream for this research? Part of research grants are given to disseminate the results of research. What if professional musicians and film makers could be recruited to produce these videos for dissemination? Suddenly around the world there would be a combination of amateur and professional artists connecting people with scientific knowledge and generating a multimedia repository of scientific knowledge in parallel with the academic repository. Popular culture would increasingly feature the most iconic elements of this new scientific movement.

Scientists, laboratories, universities and funding bodies would have a new metric for assessing the impact of scientific research. The multimedia impact factor. How many YouTube views did the research paper get? At the time of writing the video above had 1472 views. Now as well as researchers and journalists citing the paper, the paper will be cited or shared by people who do not even speak the language the paper was written in. There may even be a new generation of popular scientists who find more success with these multimedia formats, communicating their own work directly to the public after it has passed through peer review. Such scientists may even help to steer science in the direction most needed by society offering a rapidly responsive societal anchor for the the scientific community.

The videos will generate interest in the other works of these scientists. After watching the video above, I looked at the other videos at the Smithlab. I looked at the Array Tomography technique that had been developed. I read about how the lab had been started by Professor Smith. This led me on to an array tomograph of an amyloid plaque from the brain of a person who had Alzheimer’s Disease.

Array Tomograph of Amyloid Plaque in a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease

The significant work of the Laboratory had become more accessible to me from that first video. The video had succeeded in a way no CV on the homepage ever could have. Is this a sign of things to come? With the flexibility of YouTube perhaps a movement will begin that will forever transform science and society – an increasing coordination between science and the humanities ushering in the era of the co-creator.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

 

#3 Ways UNESCO Made It Easier to Understand Human History

The history of our race is immensely complex. A comprehensive historical account of humanity would include descriptions of many now extinct languages, cultures and civilisations. To understand our identity, it is natural for us to ask about our past and to understand how we fit into this bigger picture. From the perspective of a psychiatrist, the course of human history is not immediately relevant to psychiatric practice. However history, as part of the humanities is immensely important in understanding people and particularly the origins of cultural practices. Significant historical events can have profound effects on societies many hundreds or even thousands of years afterwards, dictating the normative values within a society. These values in turn influence the boundaries of ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ attitudes and behaviours. Much has been written about the treatment of people with mental illness in different periods of history illustrating how such illnesses are perceived through the lens of historical cultural values.

One simple question we can ask is ‘How can we make sense of such a complex history?’. While there is no simple answer the efforts of UNESCO present us with one solution. UNESCO is short for the ‘United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’. The aims of UNESCO are clearly outlined on their website which includes the following statement

UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values

UNESCO has undertaken the ambitious task of detailing and communicating the history of humanity in a way which is inclusive to a multiplicity of perspectives. Here are #3 ways that UNESCO have achieved this.

#1 UNESCO’s website ‘The History of Humanity. The website acts as a central point for the History of Humanity projects.

#2 UNESCO’S collective work ‘The History of Humanity’. ‘The History of Humanity’ is a work created by a collective group of experts ‘The International Commission of the History of the Scientific and Cultural Development of Humankind’ ‘consisting of thirty scholars of international repute‘ with a further reference to ‘450 distinguished scholars from all around the world‘. The paper version of the book is available from here as is a sample online chapter. The work organises history around ‘structures’ and the interactions of centres of civilisations according to the following time periods.

Volume I: Prehistory and the Beginnings of Civilization
Volume II: From the Third Millenium to the Seventh Century BC
Volume III: From the Seventh Century BC to the Seventh Century AD
Volume IV: From the Seventh to the Sixteenth Century
Volume V: From the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century
Volume VI: The Nineteenth Century
Volume VII: The Twentieth Century

#3 UNESCO’s YouTube Channel videos. UNESCO have uploaded a number of videos to YouTube many of which are distributed under a Creative Commons License. This means that with appropriate attribution and adherence to the conditions of the license, the videos can be redistributed and even edited. Here is a selection of the videos from the Channel.

UNESCO-2 – The Cro-Magnon Man

UNESCO -4- The Egypt of the Pyramids

UNESCO -3- The First China’s Emperor

UNESCO – 14 – Galileo Galilei

The French Revolution

UNESCO – 22 – Abraham Lincoln

Mahatma Gandhi – Pilgrim of Peace

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.