Hearing Voices: The Histories, Causes and Meanings of Auditory Verbal Hallucinations

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 5, 2012 - Medical - 457 pages
The meanings and causes of hearing voices that others cannot hear (auditory verbal hallucinations, in psychiatric parlance) have been debated for thousands of years. Voice-hearing has been both revered and condemned, understood as a symptom of disease as well as a source of otherworldly communication. Those hearing voices have been viewed as mystics, potential psychiatric patients or simply just people with unusual experiences, and have been beatified, esteemed or accepted, as well as drugged, burnt or gassed. This book travels from voice-hearing in the ancient world through to contemporary experience, examining how power, politics, gender, medicine and religion have shaped the meaning of hearing voices. Who hears voices today, what these voices are like and their potential impact are comprehensively examined. Cutting edge neuroscience is integrated with current psychological theories to consider what may cause voices and the future of research in voice-hearing is explored.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
A history of hearing voices
9
Part II The phenomenology and lived e xperience of hearing voices
97
Part III The causes of hearing voices
189
Part IV The meanings of hearing voices
313
12 The struggle for meanings
315
Conclusion
355
Moving towards new models of hearing voices
375
References
384
Index
439
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About the author (2012)

Simon McCarthy-Jones is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Macquarie University's Centre for Cognitive Science, in Sydney, Australia.

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