The Divided Self: An Existential Study In Sanity And Madness

Paperback | August 30, 1965

byR. D. Laing

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Dr. Laing's first purpose is to make madness and the process of going mad comprehensible. In this, with case studies of schizophrenic patients, he succeeds brilliantly, but he does more: through a vision of sanity and madness as 'degrees of conjunction and disjunction between two persons where the one is sane by common consent' he offers a rich existential analysis of personal alienation.

The outsider, estranged from himself and society, cannot experience either himself or others as 'real'. He invents a false self and with it he confronts both the outside world and his own despair. The disintegration of his real self keeps pace with the growing unreality of his false self until, in the extremes of schizophrenic breakdown, the whole personality disintegrates.

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From Our Editors

At the heart of most psychological research is the question of how and why people go mad. Rarely do researchers come up with as satisfying an answer as Dr. R.D. Laing does here. After years of helping schizophrenic patients deal with their problems, he has a thorough, sympathetic understanding of this complicated inner problem. By exam...

From the Publisher

Dr. Laing's first purpose is to make madness and the process of going mad comprehensible. In this, with case studies of schizophrenic patients, he succeeds brilliantly, but he does more: through a vision of sanity and madness as 'degrees of conjunction and disjunction between two persons where the one is sane by common consent' he offe...

From the Jacket

Dr. Laing’s first purpose is to make madness and the process of going mad comprehensible. In this, with case studies of schizophrenic patients, he succeeds brilliantly, but he does more: through a vision of sanity and madness as ’degrees of conjunction and disjunction between two persons where the one is sane by common consent’ he offe...

R.D. Laing, one of the best-known psychiatrists of modern times, was born in Glasgow in 1927 and graduated from Glasgow University as a doctor of medicine. In the 1960's he developed the argument that there may be a benefit in allowing acute mental and emotional turmoil in depth to go on and have its way, and that the outcome of such ...

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Format:PaperbackPublished:August 30, 1965Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140135375

ISBN - 13:9780140135374

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

The Divided SelfPreface to the Original Edition
Preface to the Pelican Edition
Part One
1. The existential-phenomenological foundations for a science of persons
2. The existential-phenomenological foundations for the understanding of psychosis
3. Ontological insecurity

Part Two
4. The embodied and unembodied self
5. The inner self in the schizoid condition
6. The false-self system
7. Self-consciousness
8. The case of Peter

Part Three
9. Psychotic developments
10. The self and the false self in a schizophrenic
11. The ghost of the weed garden: a study of a chronic schizophrenic

References
Index

From Our Editors

At the heart of most psychological research is the question of how and why people go mad. Rarely do researchers come up with as satisfying an answer as Dr. R.D. Laing does here. After years of helping schizophrenic patients deal with their problems, he has a thorough, sympathetic understanding of this complicated inner problem. By examining patients in case studies on a continuity of sanity he demonstrates how personalities can move along this continuum. The Divided Self explores the breakdown of personality that occurs when patients do what they can to cope with the world around them and end up destroying themselves.

Editorial Reviews

"Dr. Laing is saying something very important indeed. . . . This is a truly humanist approach." —Philip toynbee in the Observer"It is a study that makes all other works I have read on schizophrenia seem fragmentary. . . . The author brings, through his vision and perception, that particular touch of genius which causes one to say Yes, I have always known that, why have I never thought of it before?'" —Journal of Analytical Psychology