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I'm reading a book, Gestalt Therapy Integrated, and I stumble on this sentence:

So also in matters psychological.

I'm thinking that one line is missing, but I'd like to make sure of that.

The paragraph starts in this way:

Were an individual subjected to great heat, he would soon lose contact by fainting and he might eventually die if his limits for assimilating heat were seriously trespassed. So also in matters psychological.

  • I'd need the reference in context - lose contact with what? Trespasses looks like it should be trespassed. Is this a text that's been scanned and digitised? – Leon Conrad Mar 16 '14 at 9:20
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    Apart from the typo Leon mentioned, that quote makes sense to me. It's saying that in psychological matters, exposure to excessive ‘heat’ (which I presume the following lines will define what is in a psychological context) will make you lose contact, etc., just like exposure to excessive physical heat will in a physiological context. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 16 '14 at 9:24
  • @JanusBahsJacquet, the author uses physical heat as an example here to what is being discussed: contact. To much contact (with someone, something, self thoughts...) and you could psychologically trespass. – Alexis Wilke Mar 16 '14 at 10:11
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It is correct.

The sentence indicates that the individual would be compromised psychologically.

This sentence structure is seen in writings from the Victorian era but is less commonly seen in modern usage.

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    I don't see what is archaic about it. It is very good English. If you rarely see it your reading must be limited. My wife, who is versed in matters psychological, informs me that Gestalt has been written in the last thirty years. – WS2 Mar 16 '14 at 10:09
  • Ah... My edition is 1973. So not Victorian, really, but the meaning you transpose is what I was thinking it would be. – Alexis Wilke Mar 16 '14 at 10:12
  • Just to confirms, no verbs in the sentence, right? matters is the noon? – Alexis Wilke Mar 16 '14 at 10:14
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    @Alexis Wilke. Yes, in this context matters is a noun, followed by a postpositive adjective. Garner in Modern American Usage (p648) has an entry on such adjectives which "follow the nouns they modify, generally because they follow Romance rather than Germanic (English) syntax. They exist in English largely as a remnant of the Norman French influence during the Middle Ages." Among Garner's examples are: attorney general, heir apparent, notary public. – Shoe Mar 16 '14 at 10:42
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    Garner goes on to state: "At least two common English nouns, 'matters' and 'things', often take postpositive adjectives that are ordinarily prepositive. Thus we say that someone is interested in 'matters philological' or 'things philosophical'." – Shoe Mar 16 '14 at 10:42

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