Section VIII. Need of Wide Clinical Knowledge.—If anyone thinks that the study of Diseases of the Nervous System as they are Dissolutions will take his attention from their clinical or practical consideration he is mistaken. I urge two methods of study, one scientific and one clinical. Without a considerable clinical knowledge of cases no one is fitted to begin the scientific, comparative, study of nervous diseases. For the scientific study of insanities a very wide clinical knowledge is necessary. It would never do to confine attention to cases described in text-books by Alienist Physicians, to what I may call “orthodox” cases of insanity. Not being an Alienist Physician I say this, and what follows in the present Section, under correction by the Members of this Society, who of necessity know very much more of “Diseases of the Mind” than I do. I should not presume to address Alienist Physicians on their special subject had I not the hope that from a long study of simpler diseases of the Nervous System, I might contribute something of at least indirect value for the elucidation of the most complex problems they have to deal with. In a later section I shall urge a study of cases of abnormal mental affections, many, of which are not, in a clinical regard, cases of insanity at all, and, so far as I know, are not dwelt upon in books on Insanity.
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