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Rebel GeniusWarren S. McCulloch's Transdisciplinary Life in Science$
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Tara H. Abraham

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035095

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035095.001.0001

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The Student of Science, Medicine, and Philosophy

The Student of Science, Medicine, and Philosophy

(p.17) 2 The Student of Science, Medicine, and Philosophy
Rebel Genius

Tara H. Abraham

The MIT Press

By examining McCulloch’s childhood and formative years during the 1920s as a student at Yale University and Columbia University, this chapter outlines the emergence of McCulloch as a transdisciplinary investigator and a man full of paradox. McCulloch majored in philosophy at Yale and minored in psychology, and had a reputation in his graduating class of being unique and boisterous. His poetry from this period used the traditional form of the sonnet yet tackled modern themes such as science, industry, and war. These poems also align McCulloch with an idealism and longing for the “lost world” before World War I. McCulloch was trained in the laboratory culture of experimental neurology, but was also drawn to a brand of psychiatry that understood the diseased mind in terms of flaws in logic. Ultimately, McCulloch’s identities during the early part of his life transcended science, medicine, and philosophy, the hands-on and the abstract, and balanced traditional thinking with iconoclasm.

Keywords:   Yale University, campus life, Columbia University, poetry as autobiography, World War I; World War 1; First World War; WWI, lost generation, experimental neurology, psychiatry

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