In 1960 Thomas Szasz wrote about ‘the myth of mental illness1,’ but in this blog I explore the ‘myth of mental wellness.’ While struggling with dyslexia I can most often pass as normal. Mental abnormalities are variously constructed as biological, psychological or social. I am aware however of the complex process by which my sanity is socially constructed; here I reveal my weirdness.
In 1968 Michel Foucault wrote about ‘the history of the present2,’ while in this blog, the present appears more fractured, variously constructed through different histories, promoted through competing systems of knowledge. Our current Modern / Western construction of knowledge alternates between modern and post-modern, structural and post-structural. I do not recognise a linear progression in academic understanding, more of a repeating series of disassociated states.
In 1975 Paul Ricoeur wrote about ‘the rule of metaphor3,’ exploring the complexities of language. My dyslexic thinking causes me to notice the use of metaphor and I try to set out here the way that mental concepts are structured by this creative use of language.
At various times Jacques Lacan wrote about the ‘imaginative order4,’ as an individual’s attempt to gain a sense of self. This website records my efforts to understand and make sense of life, psychological theory, madness, sanity and myself. It is a form of note-taking and an aid to my revision, my attempt to process and recall the literature I have read.
Metaphors for Madness and the evolution of my thought on this page; revision notes on specific philosophers and other stuff via the menu button: top left.
- Szasz, T. The myth of mental illness. Am Psychol 1960; 15: 113-8.
- Foucault, M. The Archaeology of Knowledge. 1969; New York: Routledge.
- Ricoeur, P. The Rule of Metaphor. 1978; London: Routledge.
- Lacan, J. The Seminar XVII, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis, 2007; New York: Norton.
Do comment, tweet or something if there is anything that sparks your imagination.