On approaching schizophrenia through Wittgenstein

Read, Rupert (2001) On approaching schizophrenia through Wittgenstein. Philosophical Psychology, 14 (4). pp. 449-475. ISSN 0951-5089

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

Abstract

Louis Sass disputes that schizophrenia can be understood successfully according to the hitherto dominant models--for much of what schizophrenics say and do is neither regressive (as psychoanalysis claims) nor just faulty reasoning (as "cognitivists" claim). Sass argues instead that schizophrenics frequently exhibit hyper-rationality, much as philosophers do. He holds that schizophrenic language can after all be interpreted--if we hear it as Wittgenstein hears solipsistic language. I counter first that broadly Winchian considerations undermine both the hermeneutic conception of interpreting other humans in general and Sass's hope of interpreting schizophrenics in particular. I then go on to argue that even if these Winchian considerations are not accepted, Sass in any case doesn't take sufficiently seriously Wittgenstein's use of nonsense as a term of criticism. Solipsism is not something we can understand so as to be able to understand analogically the schizophrenic's "world"--for there is no such thing as understanding it. Solipsism is nonsense, is nothing--there is no "world" there, in solipsists (as I show by reference to Cora Diamond's reading of Wittgenstein). Nor in any actually analogous cases of schizophrenia. Their "alienness" is the alienness of nothingness; roughly, of the fantasy of "logically alien thought".

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Philosophy
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2013 15:16
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2019 19:16
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/45081
DOI: 10.1080/09515080120088111

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item