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The Madness of Prince Hamlet: And Other Delusions of Extraordinary States of Mind
     

The Madness of Prince Hamlet: And Other Delusions of Extraordinary States of Mind

by Robert M. Youngson
 

Among this stimulating book's questions and surprising answers, The Madness of Prince Hamlet asks, Was the Prince of Denmark suffering from Ganser Syndrome (also known as the syndrome of the almost correct answer)? Whether analyzing the tics of Tourettes's Syndrome, male phantom pregnancy, or "demonic possession" or explicating the extremes of ordinary behavior

Overview


Among this stimulating book's questions and surprising answers, The Madness of Prince Hamlet asks, Was the Prince of Denmark suffering from Ganser Syndrome (also known as the syndrome of the almost correct answer)? Whether analyzing the tics of Tourettes's Syndrome, male phantom pregnancy, or "demonic possession" or explicating the extremes of ordinary behavior such as love, anger, or jealousy, Dr. Robert Youngson astonishes, entertains, and informs readers about the extraordinary processes of the mind.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
According to Youngson, •a little learning is a delightful thing,• and it•s a point he demonstrates repeatedly in this engaging and opinionated compendium of essays on the amazing peculiarities of the human mind. Youngson, a former department head in the British Army Medical Service, aims to provoke as well as to entertain and enlighten. Among those sure to be offended are believers in homeopathy (his example of mass delusional insanity); British psychiatrists, whose tidying-up function he equates more with that of the police and the judiciary than that of the medical profession; the Roman Catholic Church, which he criticizes for giving respectability to a superstitious belief, i.e., demonic possession; and Freudians, for his description of Freud as •not in any sense a scientist,• but a creative literary man and psychoanalysis as a pseudoscience. These erudite essays, which are filled with literary and historical examples and personal observations, are mostly quite short and needn•t be read in any particular order, which makes this work perfect for casual browsing. There are nearly 60 essays, and the range of topics is enormous•nymphomania, déjà vu, phantom pregnancy, brainwashing, Ganser syndrome (simulated madness, à la Hamlet), hypnotic states, amnesia, autism, hypochondria, idiot savants, belief in alien abductions, multiple personalities•plus a series of pieces on the minds of criminals, mathematicians, musicians, writers, and the aging. Appropriately enough, the final one is on the dying mind, which introduces the question of near-death experiences. Throughout, skeptic Youngson is a skilled debunker and a greater detector of irrationality, but heacknowledges that for most people, there is simply too much science around and not enough mystery. Psychology 101 was never such great fun.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786706242
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
07/08/1999
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.77(h) x 0.91(d)

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