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Schroeder van der Kolk: the soul and epilepsy
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    Jacobus Schroeder van der Kolk (1797–1862)1showed his intellectual abilities when a student at Groningen. He became Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at Utrecht in 1826. More than 100 scientific contributions followed. They were devoted to the management of the mentally ill in asylums to which he had devoted his labours, clinical studies of neurology, lung diseases, blood disorders, embryology, zoology and later in his life he considered philosophical issues of the nature of the soul. His major work was entitledBody and Soul in which he described psychic processes and material disorders as the outcome of a higher spirit (spiritus animalis).

    His writings, evolved from primitive Galenic ideas, have to be seen in their historical context; but throughout he emphasised the miraculous aspects of natural history, and of life itself. He initiated investigations …

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