David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 4 (2):34-36 (2011)
In “The myth of mental illness” Thomas Szasz challenges the idea that mental illnesses are diseases in the biomedical sense. In his view they are more similar to a foreign language and for this reason they cannot be treated by means of biomedical therapies. The present article explores the semiotic implications of Szasz’s view of the hysterical symptoms as an iconic language. Following Reichenbach, Szasz distinguishes three classes of signs: indexical, iconic and symbolic. The somatic language of the hysteric person would be an iconic protolanguage which is more primordial than the objective language. Nevertheless, it retains all the basic functions of the language: to transmit information, to induce mood, and to promote action. Five different but intertwined reasons for the use of such an iconic form of communication are discussed. In conclusion, the hysterical symptom speaks its proper language and our ethical commitment is primarily to empathically listen to it.
|Keywords||protolanguage myth of mental illness hysteria semiotics iconic sign|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Thomas Stephen Szasz (1974). The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct. New York,Harper & Row.
Hanna Pickard (2009). Mental Illness is Indeed a Myth. In Matthew Broome & Lisa Bortolotti (eds.), Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience. Oup Oxford.
Mark Cresswell (2008). Szasz and His Interlocutors: Reconsidering Thomas Szasz's "Myth of Mental Illness" Thesis. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 38 (1):23–44.
Matthew Ratcliffe (2010). Binary Oppositions in Psychiatry: For or Against? Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (3):233-239.
Bencie Woll & Jechil S. Sieratzki (1998). Echo Phonology: Signs of a Link Between Gesture and Speech. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (4):531-532.
Timothy Murphy (1982). Differential Diagnosis and Mental Illness. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 7 (4):327-336.
Michael S. Moore (1975). Some Myths About 'Mental Illness'. Inquiry 18 (3):233 – 265.
Martin Roth (1986). The Reality of Mental Illness. Cambridge University Press.
Francis Golffing (1963). Book Review:The Myth of Mental Illness. Thomas S. Szasz. [REVIEW] Ethics 73 (2):145-.
Terry Hyland (2012). Mindfulness and the Myth of Mental Illness: Implications for Theory and Practice. Contemporary Buddhism 13 (2):177-192.
T. Szasz (2003). Psychiatry and the Control of Dangerousness: On the Apotropaic Function of the Term “Mental Illness”. Journal of Medical Ethics 29 (4):227-230.
David Papineau (1994). Mental Disorder, Illness and Biological Disfunction. Philosophy 37:73-82.
T. Szasz (2003). Response To: Comments on Psychiatry and the Control of Dangerousness: On the Apotropaic Function of the Term "Mental Illness". Journal of Medical Ethics 29 (4):237-237.
Pat Bracken & Philip Thomas (2010). Is Private (Contract-Based) Practice an Answer to the Problems of Psychiatry? Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (3):241-245.
Added to index2012-01-13
Total downloads15 ( #122,762 of 1,410,275 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #57,804 of 1,410,275 )
How can I increase my downloads?