Vladimir Bekhterev

Vladimir Bekhterev nsIn existographies, Vladimir Bekhterev (1859-1927) (CR:4), aka "W. Bechtereff" (Sorokin, 1928) or “W. [Wladimir] Bechterew” (Ѻ)”, was a Russian neurologist noted, in psychological thermodynamics, for his 1897 to 1921 work on energy of thoughts on people and dogs.

In 1897, Bekhterev, in his lecture turned book Suggestion and its Role in Social Life (1903), emphasized organism-environment interactions as a framework in which a “hidden reserve energy” can be accumulated, whereby, through social suggestion each person accumulated particular suggested material aspects of energy in a way that starts to look as if it were the person’s own willful act. He applied the concept of “reflex” to behavioral (and psychic) reflections, manifestations of energy, an output from an organism following the transformation of an energy input. [2]

In 1901, Bekhterev, in his Psyche and Life, published on the relation between the psyche and energetics. [1] In this work, according to William McDougall (1911), he gives some type of “energetics” view, similar to Grot and Krainsky. [2]

Bekhterev transferred the conditional reflex work of Ivan Pavlov’s dogs to humans, wherein he utilized energy concepts.

Bekhterev published a number of works arguing that suggestion, hypnosis, and telepathy were phenomena caused by some type of underlying energy transformation process.

In 1920 to 1921, Bekhterev, or a 20-month period, famously conducted a number of experiments on dogs, making more than 1,200-measurements of the impact of telepathy on dogs’ behavior, upon which he claimed that their experiments proved the existence of a special “shining” type of energy (Ѻ) released from one person and influencing another (compare: Rupert Sheldrake).

In 1921, Bekhterev, in part two of his Collective Reflexology, as summarized derisively by Sorokin (1928), supposedly, imported all the laws of physics, mechanics, chemistry, and biology, that he could find, to postulate a total of 23 laws governing social phenomena; which include, as summarized by Sorokin: [4]

“The law of the preservation [conservation] of energy; of the proportionality of the ratio of motion to motive force; of gravitation; of repulsion; of the equality of action with counter-action [reaction]; of similarity or homology; of rhythm; of inertia; of continuity of movement and change; of entropy; of relativity; of evolution; of differentiation; of reproduction; of elective generalization; of historical sequence; of economy; of adaptation: of interaction; of compensation; of dependable relationship and of individuality.”

In 1923, Pitirim Sorokin, in his 1928 “mechanistic school” classification, labels Bekhterev, whom he cites as “W. Bechtereff”, as being one of the chief representatives of the “social energetics” divisions. [4]

Quotes | By
The following are quotes by Bekhterev:

“The laws of the super-organic, i.e. that of ‘social’ phenomena, are the same as the laws of the organic and inorganic phenomena.”
— Vladimir Bekhterev (1921), Collective Reflexology; cited by Pitirim Sorokin (1928) in Contemporary Sociological Theory (pg. 18); cited by Joseph Mayer (1941) in Social Science Principles in Light of Scientific Method (pg. 233) [5]

1. Bechterew, W. (1901). “Psyche and Life” (“Psyche und Leben”), Wiesbaden.
2. Bekhterev, Vladimir. (1903). Suggestion and its Role in Social Life (pg. xii-xiii). Transaction Publishers, 1998.
3. (a) Bechtewew, W. (1901). Psyche and Life (Psyche and Leben). Wiesbaden.
(b) McDougall, William. (1911). Body and Mind: a History and Defense of Animism (pg. 130). Methuen.
4. Sorokin, Pitirim. (1928). Contemporary Sociological Theories (pdf) (§1: The Mechanistic School [pdf]) (pgs. 18-19). Harper & Brothers.
5. (a) Bechtereff, W. (1921). Collective Reflexology (Kollektivnaija Reflexologia). Publisher.
(b) Sorokin, Pitirim. (1928). Contemporary Sociological Theories (pdf) (§1: The Mechanistic School [pdf]) (pgs. 18-19). Harper & Brothers.
(c) Mayer, Joseph. (1941). Social Science Principles in Light of Scientific Method: with Particular Application to Modern Economic Thought (pg. 233). Duke University Press.

External links
Bechterew, W. – WorldCat Identities.
Vladimir Bekhterev – Wikipedia.

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