Science and Man's Behavior: the Contribution of Phylobiology

Science and Man's Behavior: the Contribution of Phylobiology

Science and Man's Behavior: the Contribution of Phylobiology

Science and Man's Behavior: the Contribution of Phylobiology

Excerpt

In presenting a scientific frame of reference it is often helpful to trace briefly the development of the discipline-to follow the roots back to the soil where they were originally nurtured. Phylobiology, of which group- or phylo-analysis is a research and therapeutic tool, was initiated and pioneered through the years by Dr. Trigant Burrow whose training was in the fields of medicine, biology and experimental psychology. After receiving degrees in medicine and psychology, he became interested in the psychoanalytic techniques which were developing abroad. During 1909-10 he studied with Carl G. Jung in Zurich and then returned to Baltimore where he played an important rôle in introducing psychoanalysis in this country. It was while working in Baltimore at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and in private practice that he developed the distinctive characteristics of his studies-studies which were later sponsored by The Lifwynn Foundation.

Psychoanalysis had its inception in a social and intellectual climate that stresses individualism in human behavior and mechanistic interpretations in the biological sciences. Dr. Burrow early became dissatisfied with both these emphases. He felt that if human behavior was to be rightly understood and basic principles formulated in this field it was necessary to adopt an organismic frame of reference and to study the emergent properties of the group, as well as the intricate modes of interfunctioning among individuals. Disorders in behavior were for him essentially social or interrelational, and demanded observation and study in their dynamic group setting.

The most striking feature in Dr. Burrow's life was his unremitting interest in understanding and resolving man's behavioral conflict. Years of study and research led him to the view that man is in urgent need of adopting an objective, inclusive attitude in respect to behavior-disorders, individual and social. The development of scientific principles in this field so vital to man's life and effectiveness became the primary aim of his group-analytic studies.

But Dr. Burrow realized that the establishment of such principles must ultimately become a community task-a task for the community of mankind. And he felt that scientists generally, be-

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