John W. Campbell And I might have added the Principle of Parsimony––that the simplest theory that explains all observed facts, and does not require non-existent phenomena, is the preferred theory.

     However, I suggest that the psychiatrists, in working up their arguments, try substituting the name “Doakes” wherever they tend to put “Freud,” “Jung,” or “Adler,” and see if the argument makes sense. It should; facts, not authorities, are the only argumentative basis under the scientific method.

     But it’s cruel! Can you imagine a psychiatrist trying to discuss the mind without appeal to authority?...

     The prefrontal lobotomy––which cuts out a piece of the brain of the “incurable” insane patient––is not intended to cure, which it doesn’t, but to render the hopeless case more tractable. But it permanently destroys the brain. No psychiatrist would order such an operation if he did not sincerely believe that the case was something no known psychiatric method could cure now, or in the foreseeable future––that, in other words, the known techniques were completely helpless in the face of the problem. Present psycho-therapeutic techniques have, then, been declared inadequate to handle the assigned problem, and have been so declared by the expert practitioners of those techniques!...

     Regards,

     John W. Campbell