Re: madness

On Thu, 12 Mar 1998, colin holmes wrote:

> Sorry if this is inappropriate for the Foucault list but.....

I don't think it is....

> In any case, I don't buy monocular, all-explanatory, all-sufficient easily
> expressed causes for complex human events. If you want an explanation for
> the rise of biological psychiatry, the first place to look is at the
> profits of the drug companies and the need for psychiatrists to maintain
> their own status!

Indeed--but how is it that just now there is such a market for
psychopharmaceuticals and psychotherapy in general? How did psychiatrists
come to achieve their status? How did pharmaceutical companies get so

> Then look at the politics of the alternatives. I think
> that is more likely to yield a persuasive account than any Heideggerian
> 'formula'.

I don't think he offers a causal formula for so much as a description of
what is going on in modernity. Saying that modernity turns everything
into standing reserve doesn't explain anything; it doesn't tell you why
psychology has taken the direction it has--rather it gives you a way of
describing that direction. (It's like what Habermas says about "the
colonization of the lifeworld"--saying that, e.g., a state bureaucracy's
usurpation of the responsibilities of a local school board is an example
of the colonization of the lifeworld doesn't explain *why* it's happening,
but it identifies it as part of a larger (ominous) trend--not a trend
inherent in History itself, necessarily, but just the way things happen to
be going).

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