The Divided Self

An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness

Recommended by Simon Critchley, and 1 others. See all reviews

Ranked #23 in Psychiatry, Ranked #35 in Schizophreniasee more rankings.

Dr. Laing's first purpose is to make madness and the process of going mad comprehensible. In this, with case studies of schizophrenic patients, he succeeds brilliantly, but he does more: through a vision of sanity and madness as 'degrees of conjunction and disjunction between two persons where the one is sane by common consent' he offers a rich existential analysis of personal alienation.

The outsider, estranged from himself and society, cannot experience either himself or others as 'real'. He invents a false self and with it he confronts both the outside world and his own despair....

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Simon Critchley The question that he’s asking in the book is about how we categorise the mad and the sane. (Source)

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