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R. D. Laing (1927–1989)

Forfatter af Det ¤spaltede selv

31+ Works 4,901 Members 42 Reviews 13 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Ronald David Laing, a prominent British psychoanalyst, won wide attention in the United States, especially among young people, for his questioning of many of the old concepts of what is "normal" and what is "insane" in a world that he sees as infinitely dangerous in the hands of "normal" people. vis mere Born and educated in Glasgow, Scotland, Laing questioned many of the basic assumptions of Western culture. Taking the role of social critic, he wrote in The Politics of Experience (1967): "A little girl of seventeen in a mental hospital told me she was terrified because the Atom Bomb was inside her. That is a delusion. The statesmen of the world who boast and threaten that they have Doomsday weapons are far more dangerous, and far more estranged from "reality' than many of the people on whom the label "psychotic' is affixed." Much of Laing's work was in the field of schizophrenia. Philosophical and humanist in approach, he questioned many of the cut-and-dried classifications for the mentally ill, whom he regarded with great compassion; he looked beyond the "case" to the man or woman trying to come to grips with life in the broadest human context. He was a compelling writer of great literary skill who brought to his studies a worldview that reached far beyond the confines of his profession. Until his death, Laing continued to expand on his early themes, which are also evident in his poetry, interviews, and conversations with children. vis mindre
Image credit: Ronald David Laing (1927-1989) Photo by Robert E. Haraldsen, 1983

Værker af R. D. Laing

Det ¤spaltede selv (1960) 1,362 eksemplarer
The Politics of Experience (1967) 718 eksemplarer
Knuder (1970) 704 eksemplarer
Self and Others (1961) 442 eksemplarer
Familieliv (1964) 390 eksemplarer
Oplevelsens politik og Paradisfuglen (1967) 305 eksemplarer
Familiens politik (1969) 278 eksemplarer
Conversations with Children (1978) 72 eksemplarer
Sonnets (1979) 10 eksemplarer

Associated Works

The Dialectics of Liberation (1968) — Bidragyder — 132 eksemplarer
Only Two Can Play This Game (1971) — Forord — 22 eksemplarer

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As an early and historic example of thinking about the 'insane' or 'mental illness' in a different (not medicalised) way, Laing has done the world a great service in bringing ideas about the nature of human being from the world of existential philosophy together with his experience of 'schizophrenic' individuals in the context of their families.

If you work as a therapist, I would suggest this is a must-read, even if you take issue with Laing's ideas about schizophrenia. Psychiatrists, on the other hand, shouldn't read it, because it will upset them if they don't credit his viewpoint, and upset them even more if they do.

Among its flaws, it does get a little too caught up still with psychiatric concepts and speculation that aren't rooted in phenomenology, but he makes a very good attempt to bring the latter to bear on his case material. And in places he's a somewhat repetitive writer - but that also helps to solidify the ideas he's trying to get across.

Overall, in this book he sounds like someone you'd like to have at your side if your mind really took a wander off the beaten track - with his apparent capacity for patient and careful listening and fearless compassion. I imagine very few psychiatrists of his day would have had the time, courage or skills for that, and even less so nowadays in their hyper-pharmacological paradigm of trying to quickly anaesthetise mental and existential distress with pills.

… (mere)
breathslow | 13 andre anmeldelser | Jan 27, 2024 |
Weird but interesting book, in the spirit of the 1960-70s.
mykl-s | 6 andre anmeldelser | Aug 10, 2023 |
Taking up most of this volume is the “Politics of Experience” – an investigation into some aspects of alienation – between members of a society, between individuals and material reality, between individuals and spiritual matters, and even between an individual and aspects of their own mind. The latter of these is particularly important in its implications for the Schizophrenic – a favourite subject for Laing.

As he does in his book the Undivided Self, he takes on an existential approach to madness. To do this he wants to understand how those labelled as mad experience the world, how they think, how they are treated, and how these differ from other members of society. The internal logic of the “mad”, and the validity, poetry, revelation, and creativity within their experience are what he writes about most enthusiastically.

This is not the best beginner’s introduction to Laing’s thought, lacking the systematic presentation of his ideas found in his main works. However as a supplement for those already familiar with, and keen on his other writing, this adds in some extra colour with the provocative riffing hand of the jazz master of psychology.
… (mere)
P_S_Patrick | 1 anden anmeldelse | May 22, 2023 |



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