Madness and Philosophy

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(5), 423–425. Reviews the book, Schizophrenia: A Philosophical Reflection on Lacan's Structuralist Interpretation. Philosophical Series, Vol. 35 by Alphonse De Waelhens (1978). Waelhens's main thesis is that philosophy must take into account mental illness and the unconscious. Madness cannot be viewed as a disease process like tuberculosis, produced from the outside. Psychoanalytic theory and research might have provided the means for understanding psychopathology, psychopathology, but for the unfortunate retention of Freud's naturalistic bias. Waelhens and the translator seem to ignore the advances of ego psychology, and much contemporary work on borderline personality disorders, on the separation-individuation process, and on pregenital development generally. Hence Waelhens's views of psychoanalytic theory of psychosis are limited and distorted through this overemphasis on Lacan. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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