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ABSTRACT: This article describes the life and work of the Dutch neurologist Joseph Prick (1909-1978) and his idea of an anthropological neurology. According to Prick, neurological symptoms should not only be explained from an underlying physico-chemical substrate but also be regarded as meaningful. We present an outline of the historical and philosophical context of his ideas with a focus on the theory of the human body by the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) and the concept of anthropology-based medicine developed by Frederik Buytendijk (1887-1974). We give an overview of anthropological neurology as a clinical practice and finally we discuss the value of Prick's approach for clinical neurology today.
Journal of the history of the neurosciences 01/2011; 20(1):16-25. · 0.41 Impact Factor