Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Philosophy. Psychology. Pedagogy

ISSN 1819-7671 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1948 (Online)

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Mental Illness as Consequence of Social Transformations: Philosophical Interpretation of Medical-anthropological Researches

Mikhel Dmitry V., Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation

The aim of the article is the philosophical comprehension of some results of medico-anthropological research devoted to the problems of mental disorders in the context of social transformations. Following the tradition laid down by the philosophical work of Michel Foucault on the history of madness in modernity, the author proposes to continue the practice of comprehension of the most significant «fragments of insanity» in our modern world. This approach involves maintaining a dialogue with other forms of thought, including a discipline such as medical anthropology. The article examines two types of medicated madness – schizophrenia in rural Ireland of the period of accession into the European Economic Community and mass hysteria in Malaysia of the age of modernization. It is concluded that all these episodes of insanity were the result of profound social changes that forced the ruling forms of the mind to discover their limits when confronted with the «other».


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