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Philosophy Psychiatry and NeuroscienceA Synthetic Analysis of the Varieties of Human Experience$
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Edward M. Hundert

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198248965

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198248965.001.0001

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Madness and Other Realities

Madness and Other Realities

(p.157) 6 Madness and Other Realities
Philosophy Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Edward M. Hundert

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the term madness and the diversity beneath the unity of madness. When the fathers of existential psychiatry first began to develop some empathic techniques to get them closer to patients' actual lived experiences, they were absolutely startled by the diversity in the emotional life they discovered between patients who looked pretty much the same from the outside. According to this chapter, the phenomenology of lived experience includes both real and unreal, and the categories which mark the real grow up together with the separation of real from unreal, as knowledge searches forever-broader contexts of experience. Finally, this chapter discovers that beneath the diversity of experience, there lies another unity which can be found in the realization that once sanity begins to mean something, a unifying definition of insanity must follow in exactly the same way that health in any other sphere defines illness.

Keywords:   madness, unity, psychiatry, emotional life, forever-broader contexts

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