Re: Schizophrenia

G.S. Hamilton (
Tue, 24 Nov 1998 09:52:31 -0500

Just wanted to chip in that I very much agree with Jonathon Raskin's point
on recapitulating the problem of expert terminology. I'm presently in the
throes of this, witha project. I happen to be looking into Foucault for this
undertaking, and I see more and more why I think he uses terms - known to
common vocabularies, but with enough 'slippage' to be used for the purposes
of cross-level interpretations. That is, interpretation of complex social
and sociological ordered phenomena.
The french have a knack for this. We can often get infuriated by
inconsistant meanings - especially used as constructs by theorists. But I
think it's time we looked at developing 'slippage' in contexts for what we
see now to have been the problems that have ensued with the value-laden, and
over-reductive baggage of psychiatric idioms.
Maybe we need to go to France. The won the Wold Cup, didn't they?
Glen S. Hamilton
Washington DC.
-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan D. Raskin <>
To: <>
Date: Tuesday, November 24, 1998 9:34 AM
Subject: Re: Schizophrenia

>Hello everyone. What an interesting conversation. Let me toss out some of
>my half-baked thoughts.
>If we are relying on any singular pseudospecialist term designed explicitly
>for use by and among professionals, are we not continuing to imply that we
>are more experts at knowing what plagues our clientele than they are? What
>if we simply did what other non-professionals do, and described persons
>using adjectives from everyday language? This would certainly move us away
>from relying on fancy terms that, in my view, tell us little about the
>client's relationships and personal meanings, but tell us a whole lot about
>the professional's need for some kind of (elusive) overarching system for
>comprehending others.
>Szasz might argue that it doesn't matter what we call it, especially if
>"it" is simply a matter of the more powerful person defining/naming the
>less powerful one.
>At 01:10 AM 11/24/98 -0500, you wrote:
>>Resuming the original discussion, why don't use a word like "methanoia"?
>>(Maybe I'm misspelling it). It was the original proposal of the English
>>antipsychiatry movement. (I don't know if it was Thomas Szasz' or R. D.
>>Laing's idea). It focuses on the process aspect of the "schizophrenic"
>>events, therefore placing the weird symptoms in a time perspective. (This
>>somewhat parallell to what Salvador Minuchin calls "bringing the symptom
>>back to normal").
>>But then again, methanoia was given a try -and it failed. It has its
>>advantages: is a single word, with a shareable construction, and it's not
>>easily turned into a stigma.
>>Unfortunatelly, it's not the preemptive "diagnosis" the medical model (and
>>their insurance counterparts) seem to enjoy...
>>Kind regards,
>>Esteban Laso
>>You can respond to this e-mail online.
>>If you have ICQ my ICQ# is 10231215
>>If you don't have ICQ you can send me e-mail to
>>You can download ICQ at
>Jonathan D. Raskin, Ph.D.
>Dept. of Psychology-JFT
>State University of New York at New Paltz
>75 S. Manheim Blvd.
>New Paltz, NY 12561-2499
>phone: (914) 257-3471 or 3606
>fax: (914) 257-3606