Understanding madness?

Ratio 2 (1):1-18 (1989)
Abstract
The paper contrasts two ways of understanding the apparently strange assertions of mad persons, finds them both problematic, and proposes an alternative. The first approach, exemplified by R.D. Laing, is to suppose that the beliefs of the mad person are ordinary but expressed in terms that make them appear irrational. The other approach, advocated by Silvano Arieti, is to take the words at face value but to attribute to the mad person a kind of deviant logic. I suggest, on the basis of a Davidsonian approach, that the bizarre utterances of the mad simply cannot be understood adequately; they are, precisely, points at which accomodations of intepretation give out. This is what makes them symptoms of madness.
Keywords Davidson  Laing  Madness  Interpretation  Irrationality
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9329.1989.tb00124.x
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Citations of this work BETA
Delusions and Dispositionalism About Belief.Maura Tumulty - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (5):596-628.
On Approaching Schizophrenia Through Wittgenstein.Rupert Read - 2001 - Philosophical Psychology 14 (4):449 – 475.
A Davidsonian Perspective on Psychiatric Delusions.Marga Reimer - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (5):659 - 677.
Problems in the Definition of 'Mental Disorder'.Derek Bolton - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):182-199.

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