Imagination and Its Pathologies

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MIT Press, 2003 - Psychology - 276 pages
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From John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding to the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, madness has been viewed as a faulty mix of ideas by a deranged and violent imagination. This book shows that the relation of the imagination to pathological phenomena is as diverse and complex as the human condition itself. The imagination has the power not only to react to the world but to recreate it. And that power is double-edged: it is as destructive as it is creative.Recent advances in genetics and neuroscience have reinforced the empiricist approach in psychiatry, to the neglect of subjective aspects of the pathological experience. This book argues that the study of the imagination and pathology is long overdue, and that such an integration will be both theoretically and clinically fruitful. Because imagination can be creatively integrative as well as pathological, the book emphasizes the holistic, therapeutic dimension of imagination as well as its destructive effects. The areas discussed include philosophical perspectives on pathological imagination; pathological imagination and the psychodynamic tradition; and specific cases of pathological imagination in schizophrenia, juvenile pathology, artistic creativity (Vaslav Nijinsky), and religious expression (St. Anthony).

 

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Contents

Pathologic Imagination in Light of Philosophic Reflection
21
Domain of the Unreal or
37
Narrative and the Ethics of Remembrance
51
Imagination Fantasy Hallucination and Memory
65
MerleauPonty on Imagination
93
The Creative Role of Fantasy in Adaptation
111
A New Interpretation of Its Pathology
133
The Impossibility of Female Mourning
147
Imagination
187
Hallucination
209
The Structure of the Imagination
225
Fathers
253
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About the author (2003)

James Phillips is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine.