Beyond Diagnosis and Symptoms

Preview: Anthony Quinton in 1985 in a lecture to the British Academy said that madness is a topic that should be of interest to philosophers but they have surprisingly little to say about it. Twenty years later it turned out that philosophers have surprisingly much to say about it. Philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, as well as philosophy of culture…

2018-02Thematic Section
Psychosis as the Failure of Symbolization

Abstract: After offering a brief outline of Cassirer’s fundamental ideas on symbolization, the article looks at its application to psychopathology, e.g. psychosis, a theme not introduced by Cassirer himself. Psychosis is conceived of as a distortion of a fundamental symbolization, a radical metaphor, thus elaborating a version of Cassirer’s own line of thought. Cassirer’s concept of basis phenomena appears to provide a fruitful…

2018-02Thematic Section
Experience, Depression and Decision-Making

Abstract: The aim of the article is to discuss the specifics of human actions and decision-making processes from the psychopathological perspective. The concepts of action and decision making are reported in the context of human experience and the experiential structure of self-determination. The starting point is provided by considerations related to the notion of…

2018-02Thematic Section
The Gift of Insanity. The Rise and Fall of Cultures from a Psychiatric Perspective

Abstract: This paper argues in favor of two related theses. First, due to a fundamental, biologically grounded world-openness, human culture is a biological imperative. As both biology and culture evolve historically, cultures rise and fall and the diversity of the human species develops. Second, in this historical process of rise and fall, abnormality plays a crucial role….

2018-02Thematic Section
Silence of an Author and Silence of a Madman

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyze silence as a specific experience that is formed on the border between that what is psychotic and that what is creative. Trying to deepen the reflection on the area of silence in our experience I will recall two conceptions: Merleau-Ponty’s and Lacan’s. Both of these authors attempted to go beyond the…

2018-02Thematic Section
Trauma and Phenomenology

Abstract: The phenomenology of trauma is a historical, epistemological, and methodic inquiry that wishes to test the validity of an already settled dynamic model of surprise as shock-rupture based on its correlated inner structures of attention (as an open awaiting) and emotion (as a perduring resonance). Thanks to an integrative approach, crossing (micro)phenomenological subjective experiences and empirical (neuro…

2018-02Thematic Section
Psychiatry and Anti-psychiatry: History, Rhetoric and Reality

Abstract: The term “anti-psychiatry” was coined in 1912 by Dr. Bernhard Beyer, but only popularized by Dr. David Copper (and his critics) in the midst of a widespread cultural revolt against involuntary hospitalization and in-patient psychiatry during the 1960s and 1970s. However, with the demise of the old-fashioned mental hospital, and the rise of Big…

2018-02Thematic Section
Recognition and Diagnosis from the Perspective of an Anthropological Philosophy of Culture

Abstract: The aim of my article is to analyze the concepts and phenomena of diagnosis and recognition, often considered to be semantically identical. While in psychiatric practice such an identity does not necessarily have adverse effects, in the anthropological and cultural domains identification of diagnosis and recognition may cause stigmatization, or other undesirable consequences. The article attempts…

2018-02Thematic Section
Consciousness, Culture, and the Brain

Abstract: Human consciousness is a phenomenon that occurs not only in the brain but also in an external network, a symbolic system. This symbolic system is defined as an exocerebrum. The exocerebrum is a system of artificial cultural prostheses that substitute functions the brain cannot carry out through exclusively biological means. The exocerebrum is a symbolic system…

An Explanation of the Plural Form of God’s Name

Abstract: God’s name “Elohim,” common in the Hebrew Bible and Jewish tradition, is always used with verbs in the singular even though it is in the plural form. It is shown here that the ungrammatical usage can be seen as the best solution to a natural problem. Namely, tradition assumes that it should be impossible to talk about a general…