“Möbius strip: a one-sided surface formed by holding one end of a rectangle fixed, rotating the opposite end through 180 degrees, and then applying it to the first end.”—Webster’s Third International Dictionary
In this intriguing book, Francis Schiller describes the philosophy, life, and work of Paul Möbius, tracing through them the beginnings of modern neuropsychiatry. Freud called Möbius “a pioneer of psychotherapy.” The grandson of the inventor of the Möbius strip, he made important contributions to both neurology and psychiatry. The Leipzig physician had come to the study of medicine by way of philosophy. Consistent with his own “nonmaterialistic monism,” he sought a unifying solution to the age-old problem of the relationship between the mind and the brain. Schiller aptly uses the geometrical puzzle invented by Möbius’s grandfather to illustrate Möbius’s view of this relationship.
A Möbius Strip is a unique exploration of nineteenth-century views of the “mind-body problem” and of the relationship between disorders of the brain and the psyche. It sheds light on the origins of modern psychotherapy and the concept of the unconscious, the formulation of hysteria as a psychogenic disorder, the localization of function in the brain, the relationship between neurology and psychiatry, and turn-of-the-century ideas about sex and behavior.
This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1982.