Synthesis of contraries: Hughlings Jackson on sensory-motor representation in the brain

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This paper examines the concept of representation in the brain which occurs in the writings of the neurologist John Hughlings Jackson (1835–1911). Jackson was immersed in Victorian physiological psychology, a hybrid of British associationism and a reflex theory of the operation of the nervous system. Furthermore, Jackson was deeply influenced by Herbert Spencer, and I argue that Spencer's progressivist evolutionary ideas are in tension with the more mechanistic approach of the reflex theory. I also discuss Jackson's legacy in the 20th century and the longstanding debate about localisation of function in the brain
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-44
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Early online date19 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

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