Philosophy's loss, neurology's gain: the endeavor of John Hughlings-Jackson

C.U.M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The year 2011 marked the centenary of the death of one of the founders of British neurology, John Hughlings-Jackson (1835-1911). By common consent he was a great clinician. But he was more. He endeavored to use clinical observations to throw light on one of the great problems of the modern world, the problem of mind. Hughlings-Jackson's daily contact with mentalities warped by neurological disease caused him to ponder deeply the nature of the mind-brain relationship, nowadays often known simply as the "hard problem. " In particular, he saw the danger of conflating mind and brain, a danger that has grown greater with the spectacular growth of neuroscientific knowledge during the last century. Although Hughlings-Jackson's neuroscientific thought is long outdated, his philosophic endeavors remain highly instructive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-91
Number of pages11
JournalPerspectives in Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


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