Boris Sidis, Ph.D., M.D.

 

At Sidis Psychotherapeutic Institute, Portsmouth NH.

 

"An uncompromising intellectual honesty that impelled him to a blunt outrightness with regard to whatever seemed to him erroneous or mischievous, and it is not difficult to understand why during his lifetime Boris Sidis did not enjoy the full measure of recognition which he merited, and which it would seem certain will eventually be accorded to him."


 

  "My right eye is amblyopic; for it, things are enshrouded in a mist. When my left eye is closed and a book is opened before me I am unable to tell letter from figure; I see only dots, rows of them, all indistinct, hazy, oscillating, appearing and disappearing from my field of vision."The Psychology of Suggestion, Chap. 17

 

 

 

Biographical Sketches and Photographs

 

 

 

Boris Sidis Bibliography
Clickable and Printable

 

Sample of his books online here...
Click book covers or underlineds to read / save / print.
To print in b/w select all, copy, and paste into word processor.
Click empty space on page to activate mouse-wheel scrolling.
Text size can be adjusted in 'View' window.

 

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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SUGGESTION (1898)

"My mode of hypnotization consists in forming a monotonous environment;
the light is lowered, and a profound silence reigns in the room;
then gently and monotonously stroking the skin of the subject's forehead,
and in a low, muffled, monotonous voice, as if rocking a baby to sleep,
I go on repeating, 'Sleep, sleep, sleep,' etc., until the subject falls into the hypnotic state."
Chap. 6

 

 

 

 

 

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PSYCHOPATHOLOGICAL RESEARCHES
(1902)
with William Alanson White, M.D., and George M. Parker, M.D.

"Great stress is laid on re-association, or synthesis of dissociated systems.
From a therapeutic point of view, synthesis is cure."
Intro

"A bitter controversy developed, and in the end he and his associates were swept from office with their work unfinished, and the Institute was reorganized on a 'practical' basis. For a time the little band of investigators found refuge in a private laboratory, but ere long lack of funds caused their dispersal, Dr. Sidis removing to Brookline, Mass., where he continued his scientific work."H. A. Bruce

 

 

 

 


MULTIPLE PERSONALITY
(1904)

"The individual is a composite,—a multiple individuality." Chap. 1

 

 

 

 

 


Psychotherapeutics
A Symposium by Morton Prince... Frederic H. Gerrish...
James J. Putnam...E.W. Taylor... Boris Sidis... George A.
Waterman... John E. Donley... Ernest Jones... Tom A. Williams

(1908, 1909, 1912)

"Important, however, as the following-up of the history or of the psychogenesis of the symptoms may be, both to the physician and to the patient, for an intelligent and scientific comprehension of the case, it does not cure, as some are apt to claim, the psychopathic malady." Chap. 6

"Most important, however, is the access gained through the agency of the hypnoidal state to the stores of potential subconscious reserve-energy, which, by a liberation of energy, bring about a re-association and synthesis of the dissociated mental systems underlying the symptoms o f the disease." Chap. 6

 

 

 

 

 


AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF SLEEP (1909)
 

"The hypnoidal state precedes and succeeds sleep." Chap. 9
"In the study of sleep then we must devote our attention to the investigation of transitory
subwaking states which form the transition between waking and sleeping."
Chap. 4

 

 

 

 

 

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PHILISTINE AND GENIUS (1911)

"The principle of recognition of evil under all its guises
is at the basis of the true education of man." 

 

 

 

 

 


THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LAUGHTER (1913)

"What is there in the object of merriment that unloosens the pent-up energies
resulting in the psychomotor activities of laughter?"

 

 

 

 

 

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THE FOUNDATIONS OF NORMAL
AND ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY
(1914) 

"There is no special controlling agency somewhere in the mind sending out orders, mandates, inhibitions, like a despotically ruling autocrat, like a psycho-analytic censor, or like an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, invisible deity Part II, Chap. 9."

"Chance variations form the matrix out of which the purposive psychic process arises.
Not purpose, but chance is at the heart of mental life
Chap. 15."

"Science is the description of phenomena and the formulation of their relations." link

 

 

 

 

 


SYMPTOMATOLOGY, PSYCHOGNOSIS, AND DIAGNOSIS
OF PSYCHOPATHIC DISEASES
(1914)
"The phenomena that lie on the borderland of what is regarded as normal mental activity are of great interest and importance, because, being deviations or variations from the normal and the familiar, they are apt to call attention to the mechanism, causation and laws that govern mental activity in general―normal and abnormal, conscious and subconscious."
"Distasteful as it is for me to do it, I find it my duty to enter a protest against the vagaries and absurdities of psychoanalysis which is nothing but a pseudo-science, the same as astrology, oneiromancy, palmistry and magic."

 

 

 

 

 


THE CAUSATION AND TREATMENT OF PSYCHOPATHIC DISEASES (1916)
“The fear instinct is the ultimate cause of the infinite varieties of psychopathic diseases.” Chapter V
“Himself first and last, that is the essence of psychopathic life.” Chapter XI

 

 

 

 

 

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THE SOURCE AND AIM OF HUMAN PROGRESS (1919)
"The full development of a synthetic unity of the conscious in control of the subconscious in a pure atmosphere ofliberty is sure immunity against all mental plagues, and is at the same time
the source and aim of all true human progress
."

 

 

 

 

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NERVOUS ILLS: THEIR CAUSE AND CURE
(1922)
"...a brief popular account of my work in abnormal psychology for the past quarter of a century
."

 

 

 

 
At Sidis Psychotherapeutic Institute, Portsmouth NH, 1912

"When he died he had just begun the Psychology of the Folk Tale."

"In fact we have some partially completed manuscripts on the subjects
which we hope sometime to publish."

 

 

           Selected articles...

 

Foundations of Psychology

Neuron Energy and its Psychomotor Manifestations (1898)
Remarks on a review of The Psychology of Suggestion (1898)

The Nature and Principles of Psychology (1899)

I An Inquiry into the Nature of Hallucinations (1904)

II An Inquiry into the Nature of Hallucination (1904)

Review of Freud's The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1906) Letter to William James re Freud's book (1905)

Are There Hypnotic Hallucinations? (1906)
Doctrine of Primary and Secondary Sensory Elements (1908)

Review of Gustav Störring's Mental Pathology and its Relation to Normal Psychology (1908)

Fundamental States in Psychoneurosis (1910)
This article was part of an angry controversy over psychoanalysis: "Sidis' remark is of course unpardonable, and Prince should not have allowed it to be printed; one will be bound to ignore him in the future."Ernest Jones Letters

Dreams (1912) Short review of the literature, bibliography.

The Mental Factor in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Functional Diseases (1912)

Consciousness (1914)

The Psychopathology of Neurosis (1915)

Treatment Methods

The Psychotherapeutic Value of the Hypnoidal State (1909)
How Dr. Sidis Hypnoidizes His Patients by H. A. Bruce (1910)
Masters of the Mind by H. A. Bruce (1910)
Psychopathic Aphonia, Stammering and Catalepsy (1917)
A Clinical Study of a Dream Personality (1918)

The Value of the Method of Hypnoidization in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Psychopathic Disorders (1919)
"The whole process is one of disintegration and reintegration of psycho-physiological neuron systems with the awakening of dormant, reserve energy, resulting in a complete and permanent cure of the patient."

"Great stress is laid on re-association, or synthesis of dissociated systems. From a therapeutic point of view, synthesis is cure." Psychopathological Researches

"My mode of hypnotization consists in forming a monotonous environment; the light is lowered, and a profound silence reigns in the room; then gently and monotonously stroking the skin of the subject's forehead, and in a low, muffled, monotonous voice, as if rocking a baby to sleep, I go on repeating, 'Sleep, sleep, sleep,' etc., until the subject falls into the hypnotic state." Psychology of Suggestion

Psychology and Education

Precocity in Children (1919)
"Ontogenesis is an epitome of Phylogenesis. This biogenetic law holds true in the domain of education. The stored-up experiences of the race are condensed, foreshortened, and recapitulated in the child's life history. This process of progressive "precocity," or of foreshortening of education, has been going on unconsciously in the course of human evolution. We have reached a stage when man can be made conscious of this fundamental process, thus getting control over his own growth and development." "We should remember that there is genius in every healthy, normal child."

Lecture on the Abuse of Fear Instinct in Early Education (1919)
"The aim of education of children is self-perfection. We should surround our young with the graceful, the true, the beautiful, the good, the kind, the lovely, and the loving."

Social Psychology

A Study of the Mob (1895)
The Study of Mental Epidemics (1896)
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SUGGESTION, PART III, SOCIETY (1897)
"The subwaking mob self slumbers within the bosom of society."
Fear, Anxiety, and Psychopathic Maladies (1911)
Neurosis and Eugenics (1915)
Foreword to "A Remark on the Occurrence of Revolutions" by William James Sidis (1918)
Time Crowding As A Factor in Influenza (1918)
The Source and Aim of Human Progress (1919)

Laboratory Experiments

 An Experimental Study of Sleep (1909)
The Nature and Causation of the Galvanic Phenomenon (1910)
I Laboratory Instruments Used by Boris Sidis

 

 


Six Letters, Three Postcards from William James to Boris Sidis
\

(Click / tap images to open, again to enlarge.)

 

Reviews of Boris Sidis's Books and Articles 

The Psychology of Suggestion Charles Sanders Peirce [?]
The Psychology of Suggestion

E. B. Titchener

The Psychology of Suggestion

Margaret F. Washburn

The Psychology of Suggestion

Charles K. Mills

The Psychology of Suggestion Unsigned
Neuron Energy and its Psychomotor Manifestations

George Dearborn

Psychopathological Researches Joseph Jastrow

Psychopathological Researches

Charles H. Judd

Multiple Personality

Joseph Jastrow

Multiple Personality Isador H. Coriat
(Review of the literature.)
Multiple Personality C.W.B.
Are There Hypnotic Hallucinations? Morton Prince
Studies in Psychopathology Harry Linenthal
Studies in Psychopathology Adolf Meyer

An Experimental Study of Sleep

Alice Pickel

An Experimental Study of Sleep Shepherd Franz
The Doctrine of Primary and Secondary Sensory Elements

Robert S. Woodworth

The Doctrine of Primary and Secondary Sensory Elements E. Weaver
The Nature and Causation of the Galvanic Phenomenon Knight Dunlap
The Nature and Causation of the Galvanic Phenomenon

Joseph Breitwieser

The Foundations of Normal and Abnormal Psychology Harry Linenthal
Symptomatology, Psychognosis, and Diagnosis of Psychopathic Diseases R. H. Steen
Symptomatology, Psychognosis, and Diagnosis of Psychopathic Diseases Meyer Soloman
The Causation and Treatment of Psychopathic Diseases Meyer Soloman
Philistine and Genius Meyer Soloman

 

 

Ernest Jones Letters re "The controversy over Psychoanalysis," March, 1911

Sidis wrote: "Some of Freud's admirers, with a metaphysical proclivity, are delighted over the theory of suppressed wishes. The wish is fundamental and prior to all mental states. This piece of metaphysical psychologism is supposed to be based on clinical experience. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. The Freudist manages to ride such horses."

Wrote Jones: "Sidis' remark is of course unpardonable, and Prince should not have allowed it to be printed; one will be bound to ignore him in the future."

(Click / tap images to open, again to enlarge.)

 

 

 


Leon Hansen's Sidis Collection

| The Psychology of Suggestion | Psychopathological Researches | Multiple Personality | Psychotherapeutics | An Experimental Study of Sleep | Philistine and Genius  (1911) | Philistine and Genius (1917) | The Psychology of Laughter | The Foundations of Normal and Abnormal Psychology | Symptomatology Psychognosis and Diagnosis of Psychopathic Diseases | The Causation and Treatment of Psychopathic Diseases | The Source and Aim of Human Progress | Nervous Ills |

W. J. SIDIS

| The Animate and the Inanimate | Notes on the Collection of Transfers |

 

 

Research Links

Berdichev.org

Abnormal Psychology Past and Present

Theories and Methods

William James

Library of Congress Online Catalog

Lib. of Congress researchers page: http://lcweb.loc.gov/rr/

 

 

Google Scholar

 

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