The Meaning of Mind: Language, Morality, and Neuroscience

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Overview

In this brilliantly original and highly accessible work, Thomas Szasz demonstrates the futility of analyzing the mind as a collection of brain functions. Instead of trying to unravel the riddle of a mythical entity called "the mind," Szasz suggests that our task should be to understand and judge persons always as moral agents responsible for their own actions, not as victims of brain chemistry. This is Szasz's most ambitious work to date. In his best-selling book, The Myth of Mental Illness, he took psychiatry to task for misconstruing human conflict and coping as mental illness. In Our Right to Drugs, he exposed the irrationality and political opportunism that fuels the Drug War. In The Meaning of Mind, he warns that we misconstrue the dialogue within as a problem of consciousness and neuroscience, and do so at our own peril.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Szasz (psychiatry, State U. of New York-Syracuse) sets out and defends the thesis that minding is the ability to pay attention and adapt to one's environment specifically by using language in its myriad forms to communicate with others and oneself. He adds a new preface citing recent examples and studies. The 1996 edition was published by Praeger. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815607755
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Pages: 182
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

THOMAS SZASZ, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York, is the author of 23 books, among them the classic, The Myth of Mental Illness (1961), and Our Right To Drugs (Praeger, 1991).
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Thought: Self-conversation 1
2 Responsibility: Self-blame and Self-praise 23
3 Memory: Fabricating the Past and the Future 47
4 Brain: The Abuse of Neuroscience 75
5 Mind: The History of an Idea 101
6 Modernity's Master Metaphors: Mental Illness and Mental Treatment 115
Epilogue: The Person as Moral Agent 139
Notes 145
Bibliography 165
Index 179
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