Psychology and Non-sense: Schizophrenese as Example

Rupert Read, Bo Allesøe Christensen

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In this chapter we will focus on the relation between psychology as a discipline and how it understands nonsense. We will present a broad Wittgensteinian perspective inspired by the approaches of Peter Winch and Rom Harré, and use Wolcott’s approach to the ‘language’ of schizophrenia, schizophrenese, as an object of analysis. Using a therapeutic understanding of Wittgenstein, we will claim that Wolcott’s approach resembles a substantial (Wittgensteinian) interpretation of schizophrenese, debarring an actual (‘resolute’) understanding of the nonsensical character of schizophrenese. In the end, we conclude that Winchian and Harréan approaches help develop our sensitivities towards the diversity and uniqueness of cultural practices, but that it can be misleading to assimilate severe mental disturbance to the concepts of culture and language. Doing so misunderstands and covers over such disturbance, in the very act of seeming/seeking to understand it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Second Cognitive Revolution
Subtitle of host publicationA Tribute to Rom Harré
EditorsBo Allesøe Christensen
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-26680-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-26679-0, 978-3-030-26682-0
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2019

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