Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement Paperback – 31 Mar 1997
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From the Back Cover
In this seminal work, Dr. Szasz examines the similarities between the Inquisition and institutional psychiatry. His purpose is to show 'that the belief in mental illness and the social actions to which it leads have the same moral implications and political consequences as had the belief in witchcraft and the social actions to which it led.'
About the Author
Thomas Szasz (1920-2012) was professor of psychiatry emeritus at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York and adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, Washington, DC. He was a prominent figure in the anti-psychiatry movement and a critic of the moral and scientific foundation of psychiatry.
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Top Customer Reviews
He cogently reasons that in our age of strange transpositions and inversions, mostly unwitting malefactors delude themselves that they are the benefactors of those arbitrairily labelled 'the mentally ill' (a term he understands to be something of a misnomer and oppressive and dehumanising in its semantics and commonly held association with inferiority) by a society all too quick to stigmatise and pathologise those who don't observe the proprieties of their particular society.
In a society where at least a subset of the population love to pillory, stigmatise and mercilessly torment people based on the flimsiest of pretexts, the whole oppresive nomenclature of psychiatry, along with its apparatus and practitioners, need to be questioned. As Szasz says, 'words have a life of their own' (or was it George Formby?).
To paraphrase a character in Luis Bunuel's great film 'the Phantom of Liberty', our values and beliefs are relative and not absolute, and nowhere is this more relevant a basic truth regarding current attitudes amongst laypeople and the axioms of psychiatry that are flaunted as if they were absolute truths. Yet no one is a more redoubtable opponent than a psychiatrist who, in his/her insitutionalised irrationality, actually believes in the rightness of their own nonsense.
This was mint.
psychiatry is totally and utterly exposed. The comparison of the exact mechanism of the inquisition and it's parallel
in institutional psychiatric intervention is illustrated with astonishing accuracy. This book should be made a part of every school curriculum Get it and read it- your future may depend on it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just as dissecting a corpse fails to reveal a witchcraft gene so you have the same problem finding one for depression. Read morePublished on 12 Oct. 2012 by Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles
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