Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Dictionary of philosophy and psychology including many of the principal conceptions of ethics, logics, aesthetics ... and giving a terminology in English, French, German and Italian, vol. 2 [lead-zwing]
Baldwin, James Mark
diseases. See Abnormal Psychology, Psy¬ 
chopathology, Psychological Medicine, 
and Psychosis. (j.j.) 
Psychic or Mental (i) and (2) Psycho¬ 
logical : Ger. (1 ) psychisch und (2) 'psycho¬ 
logisch ; Fr. (1) psychique ou mental, et (2) 
psychologique ; Ital. (1 ) psichico e (2) psico- 
logico. It is recommended that these terms 
mark a distinction between conscious process 
as it is apprehended (1) by itself and (2) by 
For instances of its application, see Mediacy 
and Immediacy, and Analysis (a case in 
which the distinction is already realized in 
the German terminology). (j.m.b., g.f.s.) 
Psychic (or Mental) Blindness, Deaf¬ 
ness, Dumbness, and Paralysis : see Blind¬ 
ness (psychic), Deafness (psychic), Dumb¬ 
ness (psychic), and Paralysis. 
Psychic Effect of Drugs: Ger .psychische 
Wirkungen der Arzneimittel ; Fr. effets psy¬ 
chiques des poisons ; Ital. azione clei medicamenti 
sulle facoltà mentali. 
The fact that mental processes may be af¬ 
fected by the action of drugs is a common 
possession of mankind in all stages of civiliza¬ 
tion. Among primitive peoples the prepara¬ 
tion of drugs that produce some form of 
intoxication is a widespread practice, and 
often acquires a ceremonial significance. The 
Orient has contributed several forms of psychic 
poisons, and recent chemical and pharmaceu¬ 
tical research has added others. The use of 
such drugs by the physician is insignificant 
compared to the extent of their abuse for the 
purpose of obtaining some form of mental in¬ 
dulgence. Alcohol and opium are the most 
important of such substances. The profound 
alteration of physical and mental vigour pro¬ 
duced by over-indulgence of these poisons has 
made the regulation of their use a serious 
problem of modern society, and has aroused 
the ardent interest of all who have a concern 
for the moral welfare of mankind. 
Information in regard to the effect of drugs 
upon psychic functions is derived from casual 
observation, from the recorded experiences of 
physicians in administering them for specific 
ends, and from experiments designed to deter¬ 
mine by the application of psychological tests 
the precise influence of specific doses of given 
drugs upon the sensory, motor, and intellectual 
groups of functions. The descriptions of 
altered mental conditions and of the subjective 
experiences of persons under the influence of 
mental poisons also forms an instructive source 
of information. 
In the present imperfect knowledge of the 
physiological substrata of specific mental pro¬ 
cesses, it is impossible to classify the action 
of drugs according to their effects upon the 
chemical constituents and functional activities 
of the several nervous centres. The most 
extensive investigations consider the effect 
upon the senses, upon movements, upon the 
general acquisitional powers, upon memory 
and association, upon co-ordination of delicate 
actions, upon logical alertness, upon emotional 
tone, upon the play of the imagination, upon 
general intellectual status. But it is not 
possible to arrange the available material 
according to any strict classification ; one 
must be content with general descriptions 
which illustrate or emphasize some limited 
groups of typical effects. An important diffi¬ 
culty inherent in the study of this topic is the 
great fluctuation of individual susceptibility 
to different toxic substances, the dependence 
of the effect upon the dose, upon the manner 
of assimilating it, upon climate, race, social 
condition, general bodily tone, state of the 
digestion, &c. The cause of individual sus¬ 
ceptibility and immunity is here, as in other 
connections, an unsolved problem. 
The list of substances which have a more or 
less distinctly recognized effect upon mental 
processes includes alcohol, opium, hashish, 
morphine, chloral, chloroform, ether, cocaine, 
mescal, kola, tea, coffee, tobacco, the various 
hypnotics such as sulphonal, paraldehyde, the 
bromides, nitrate of amyl, and many other less 
familiar drugs and preparations (maté, kawa, 
lecheguana, anamirte, guarana, betel, &c.). It 
will be profitable to confine attention to the 
better known of these, and to consider first 
the results of specific experiments on normal 
Kraepelin, and others through his insti¬ 
gation, measured the times of reaction to 
simple stimuli, the time required for simple 
sensory distinctions, and for indicating such 
distinctions by appropriate movements, the 
accuracy of estimating brief intervals of time, 
the quickness and nature of associations, the 
speed and accuracy of adding, the power of 
committing to memory, the muscular energy as 
indicated by the dynamometer, &c. ; first under 
normal conditions, and then at intervals under 
the influence of given doses of alcohol, ether, 
chloroform, tea, morphine, bromide, &c. Of 
their conclusions the following are capable of 
brief statement. Alcohol in small doses (15 
grammes) at first (for about 45 minutes) 
quickens and then slackens motor processes, 


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