The Paradoxes of Delusion: Wittgenstein, Schreber, and the Schizophrenic Mind

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Insanity—in clinical practice as in the popular imagination—is seen as a state of believing things that are not true and perceiving things that do not exist. Most schizophrenics, however, do not act as if they mistake their delusions for reality. In a work of uncommon insight and empathy, Louis A. Sass shatters conventional thinking about insanity by juxtaposing the narratives of delusional schizophrenics with the philosophical writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this scholarly and well-written book, the author seeks to reinterpret Schreber by means of the following idiosyncratic syllogism: the doctrine of solipsism is central in Wittgenstein; solipsism is an explanation of schizophrenia; solipsism is an explaination of Schreber."—Zvi Lothane, M.D., Psychoanalytic Books, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1995
To demonstrate his contention that schizophrenia is not the loss of rationality but the extreme result of a consciousness turned inward, Sass (clinical psychology. Rutgers U.) juxtaposes the words of delusional schizophrenics with the philosophical writings of Wittgenstein. He also applies Wittgenstein's ideas to Daniel Paul Shreber's Memoirs of My Nervous Illness which was considered a model of psychotic thought by Freud and his colleagues. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801498992
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,096,401
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 A Mind's Eye World 17
2 Enslaved Sovereign, Observed Spectator 51
3 A Vast Museum of Strangeness 86
Conclusion 118
Notes 131
Index 171
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