Review of Phenomenology and Lacan on Schizophrenia After the Decade of the Brain by Alphonse de Waelhens

Filed under:Random notes — posted by Schizostroller on December 31, 2020 @ 5:43 am

Phenomenology and Lacan on Schizophrenia After the Decade of the Brain by Alphonse de Waelhens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I would have given this 5 stars for the de Waelhens, but for Ver Eecke’s introduction.

Ver Eecke’s introduction does a good good job of bringing up to date (2001) later changes in bio-medical psychiatric opinion (to De Waelhens 1978 papers), as well as challenging these bio-medical psychiatric opinions, but from the perspective reading in 2020, this section itself lacks (due to its publication date) even more recent challenges.

Whereas De Waelhens part is very good as a perspective on a challenge to Lacanianism from a phenomenological perspective.

As such, whilst Ver Eecke’s contribution to is a quality survey of later bio-medical opinion and its critiques, it is premised on the primacy of the bio-medical opinion that has been challenged by other models such as the cognitive and trauma models (and their relation to broader epidemiological social models).

Along with neuroscientific models that take plasticity into account, then we can use this later cognitive and trauma models to then come back to look at such phenomenological-psychoanalytic models again (including the problem of Freud’s U-Turn on the existence of abuse), but it is not necessary to (even as Ver Eecke does, ‘grudgingly’) concede to the bio-medical model at all, so it was a not a necessary foregrounding to these papers by De Waelhens even if it would have been perfectly good as a standalone book.

But these two books within books are somehow separate (apart form the specific attempts by Ver Eecke to compare, which are mercifully few)

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace