TIME: Fourth Dimension of Mind by Robert Wallis

TIME: Fourth Dimension of Mind

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Ever since Bergson, the nature of time has passed from the philosophical realms (Heraclitus, Leibnitz) to the psychological and physiological ones: time as the inward ""duree"" or ""becoming,"" and time as an interior function which determines our subjective experience and decision making apparatus. Dr. Wallis' brilliant and difficult work, which may well prove as intellectually influential as Norman Brown's reformulations of psychoanalysis and history in Life Against Death, posits a revolutionary preeminence of the temporal over the spatial, so that mind and brain can interact only mentally, the brain being ""a natural electronic computer,"" and mind not matter or a ""thing,"" but a ""process,"" the language process itself ""in effect self-programmed."" Thus ""the parallelism between electronic machines and the brain may enlighten the functions of the nervous system."" it is in this projected enlightenment and man's sense of time as equivalent to the development and structure of cybernetic research and the workings of the computer that Dr. Wallis is most striking, for by connecting the advances in physics and mathematics with the problems of neurology or psychoses, he attempts a new way of studying human disorders through the observation and measurement of those very information and communication centers and electric circuits which man has, himself created, as, for example, in Wallis' functional analogy between the brain and the tape-recorder. Wallis' insights are angular in style and excessively erudite in content, but though he addresses himself only to his peers, his work is rightly destined for a wider audience.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1968
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World