Philosophy and Madness. Crystalline Clarifications: Radical Turns in the Natural Attitude to Life

Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 78 (1):3-31 (2016)
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In this article the relation between philosophy and madness is examined from both the perspective of phenomenological philosophy and psychiatry, and the narratives of those with a diagnosis of psychosis. Three theses are proposed: 1) a philosophical attitude towards psychotic experience yields more insightful, substantial descriptions of madness; 2) serious and consistent philosophical reasoning shows remarkable affinities and similarities with patterns in psychotic experience; 3) from madness proto-philosophical thought springs forward. In following the lines of intense mad ”hyper-reflexivity’ and perplexity we may discover a rich world of para-philosophy, one that corresponds to philosophical ideas driven by a less strained reflexivity and wonder. By examining the relation between philosophy and madness both parties may profit: psychotic experience may be further clarified and brought into easier relation with non-psychotic thought and practice, while philosophy may gain by widening its range of perspectives on reality and human subjectivity.



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