Voices of Reason, Voices of Insanity: Studies of Verbal Hallucinations

Paperback | April 6, 2000

byIvan Leudar, Philip ThomasEditorIvan Leudar

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Records of people experiencing verbal hallucinations or 'hearing voices' can be found throughout history.Voices of Reason, Voices of Insanityexamines almost 2,800 years of these reports including Socrates, Schreber and Pierre Janet's "Marcelle", to provide a clear understanding of the experience and how it may have changed over the millenia. Through six cases of historical and contemporary voice hearers, Leudar and Thomas demonstrate how the experience has metamorphosed from being a sign of virtue to a sign of insanity, signalling such illnesses as schizophrenia or dissociation.

They argue that the experience is interpreted by the voice hearer according to social categories conveyed through language, and is therefore best studied as a matter of language use. Controversially, they conclude that 'hearing voices' is an ordinary human experience which is unfortunately either mystified or pathologised.

Voices of Reason, Voices of Insanityoffers a fresh perspective on this enigmatic experience and will be of interest to students, researchers and clinicians alike.

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Records of people experiencing verbal hallucinations or 'hearing voices' can be found throughout history.Voices of Reason, Voices of Insanityexamines almost 2,800 years of these reports including Socrates, Schreber and Pierre Janet's "Marcelle", to provide a clear understanding of the experience and how it may have changed over the mil...

Ivan Leuderis Reader in Psychology at the University of Manchester.Philip Thomasis a Consultant Psychiatrist with Bradford Community Trust and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bradford.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:233 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.7 inPublished:April 6, 2000Publisher:Taylor and FrancisLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0415147875

ISBN - 13:9780415147873

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Table of Contents

Part 1: The Daemon of Socrates.On the History of the Concept of Hallucination. The Sign of Socrates. What the Daemon of Socrates Could Do With Words.Part 2: The Gods of Achilles.Julian Jaynes on Gods and Voices. Social Action in the Iliad. The Gods and Heroes in the Iliad. The Voices of Achilles.Part 3: The Souls of Daniel Paul Schreber.Pragmatics of Schreber's Supernatural World. Mixing Metaphors in the Court.Part 4: Pierre Janet on Verbal Hallucinations: The Case of Marcelle. Part 5: Pragmatists on Self.William James on Consciousness Of Self. Mead on Socially Reflexive Self. Are Voices Mutations Of Self?Part 6: Verbal Hallucinations in Contemporary Psychiatry.Hearing Voices and Psychopathology. Voices and Therapists.Part 7: Working with Voices.The Participants. Dialogical Properties. Dialogical Properties of Peg's Voices. Follow-up.Part 8: The Frenzy of Anthony Smith: Hearing Voices in English National Newspapers.Voices in English National Newspapers. The Frenzy of Anthony Smith. Voices in the House of Commons.Part 9: Voice-talk.On What Voices Do With Words. On Mundane Reality Testing 200.Part 10: Conclusion.Notes. Bibliography. Index.

Editorial Reviews

"[Leudar and Thomas] are able to establish some useful principles for separating hallucinated voices from usual social discourse. [Voices of Reason, Voices of Insanity] exhibits good cohesiveness...I suspect that it may become a classic of psychological literature. I would recommend it to anyone who works with individuals who hallucinate.."-John J. Haggerty, Jr., M.D., Psychiatric Services, A Journal of the American Psychiatric Association, March 2003 "This is an extremely interesting book in that it presents an historical overview of the way that voice hearing experiences have been written about, described, experienced and debated. It culminates with recent data that the authors (a psychologist and a psychiatrist) have collected on modern day voice hearers accounts of their voices in terms of pragmatic analysis of their characters."-Journal of Coginitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly, Fall 2001