Monday, August 25, 2008

Thomas Szasz - A Short Talk

Thomas Szasz is quite well-known for his contrarian stance on mental illness. Here is a bit of the article at Wikipedia about him:
He is a prominent figure in the antipsychiatry movement, a well-known social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry, and of the social control aims of medicine in modern society, as well as of scientism. He is well known for his books, The Myth of Mental Illness (1960) and The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement which set out some of the arguments with which he is most associated.

His views on special treatment follow from classical liberal roots which are based on the principles that each person has the right to bodily and mental self-ownership and the right to be free from violence from others, although he criticized the free world as well as the Communist states for its use of psychiatry and "drogophobia". He believes that suicide, the practice of medicine, use and sale of drugs and sexual relations should be private, contractual, and outside of state jurisdiction.

I'm not sure how much I agree with him, but he does make some important points. Here is a brief video expressing some of his views, especially as related to children.

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